BodyBugg

I haven’t seen a lot of guys with the BodyBugg (www.bodybugg.com), but it looks interesting. I had a few questions about it so i decided to write them about it.

The whole thing is a little confusing to me:

It’s made by Sensewear http://www.sensewear.com

Promoted as Apex http://www.apexfitness.com

And pushed by 24HourFitness http://www.24hourfitness.com

I even found some copycats:

http://www.biotrainerusa.com – just the accelerometer

www.actitrainer.com – from what i could find, the accelerometer, and you can use a polar chest strap for heart rate.

Anyway, back to what i was talking about, i wrote Bodybugg and here were my questions:

  1. Will you offer a desktop solution rather than the website as i am not always able to be connected to the internet.
  2. the watch seems like it might help with this… if i’m not able to connect to the internet will i still be able to use the band and the watch to monitor calories for the day?
  3. will bodybugg be coming out with a new version soon (like just a watch) the bugg is a little bulky on the arm all day.
  4. will bodybugg get one that includes a heart monitor?

And their answer:

Thank you for contacting us.

The program is a subscription-based program, and you need to have internet access on a Windows based operating system using Internet Explorer as your browser.

In order to use the bodybugg program, your subscription must be current.

The following link addresses how the program is subscription based;

http://my.apexfitness.com/vip/help_bodybugg.php#gen4

The armband has approximately 14 days of data collection memory.

http://application.bodybugg.com/help/armband.do#memory

As a consequence, without having an active subscription to “upload” the information from the armband….the armband will fill up with 14 days of data collection in its memory, and no longer be able to provide additional information, which the “digital display” would be able to retrieve.

So….in essence, you will need to have an active subscription to be able to upload the armband, so that the armband will continue to be able to acquire information to transmit to the “digital display” without the limitation of memory.

With regards to your question about a newer version of the armband….

The Version 3 armband, will be waterproof and be smaller (more sleek and less bulky).  The waterproof basis would only benefit the armband from intrusion of water into the unit…..however, the unit will still be unable to measure calories burned while in the water, since the skin contact and sensors will not be able to provide/obtain sufficient and accurate data which are used presently to measure calories burned.  The proposed availability of the waterproof version is proposed to be available late 2008.

Due to the placement of the armband on the back of the upper arm…..usually sites ideally suited to obtain heart rates are on the chest or wrist…..we are not aware if the back of the arm is suitable to obtain heart rate, and consequently it is highly unlikely that heart rate will be a feature of the bodybugg.  We are aware of this request and have shared this with the designers and developers of the bodybugg program.

The thing that is bothering me the MOST about the bodybugg… is the whole subscription website thing. i understand, expensive technology… someone has to pay for it (i’m fine with paying the up front cost.  There is no reason other than GREED that they only have a  website version to “download the data” – the hardware only works with a Windows PC so the whole “universal” idea of the web is null here. There isnt anything that would really require it to be web only vs a desktop version. I just think they should allow BOTH web version for everything “food tracker, calorie expendature and intake” and a desktop version that will DL the data and free up that precious “memory”.

In the analogy it’s “give” the razor away and sell the razor blades.

Not only do they seem to be selling the “razor” at a high price but then they get you having to buy the razor blades too.

I put $600 down on a 24 hour fitness 3 year pass

$600/3 years = $200/12 months = $16 after that its just $45 a year = $3.75 a month… this is for all the sport and active 24Hours in the nation….

Compare that to

Bodybugg: $199-$350 and the digital display $99 and the subscription $14.95-$99.95

just seems expensive is all i’m trying to say. And i know what your thinking if you dont want to spend the money… don’t spend the money… you’re right.

So after this i decided i would check out Polar since they have been around for a while… more on that in a future post.

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8 Responses to BodyBugg

  1. chermartinetti says:

    I have the polar F11 activity watch. As a personal trainer, I am HIGHLY recommending it to all my friends and clients. BodyBugg is great, they have been around for a while, but the price is a little high and the overall effort involved a little much for my liking.

    Cher

    http://www.chermartinetti.wordpress.com
    http://chermartinetti.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/polar-f11-activity-watch/

  2. serialtrainer says:

    As a personal trainer, I find the BodyBugg to be one of the best pieces of equipment around and well worth the price. People spend so much more on misc things but not enough on their health and well being. I’ve known women to buy shoes before they will spend money on something good for them and men who will buy the newest MP3 player instead of something good for them. The BodyBugg does take effort. It takes you putting it on and pressing a button to upload the information to you BodyBugg site. Any effort outside of that would be inputting your food (if you want to). You can also put in any exercise you did for the day but that’s optional because..oh yeah..the Bugg knows! It will show it right on your display. The BodyBugg teaches you key and crucial elements. Number one: Be accountable. Know that you ate this many calories and you moved this much. Number two: by inputing your meals, you learn calories by site alone and start seeing patterns in eating habits. Number three: A black and white report on why you are..or are not..achieving your goals. Personal trainers should be kicking people in the pants to buy this. How much easier our jobs would be! And most people who have a trainer from a club that endorses the BodyBugg, they can SEE your page and SEE your activity. So there’s no excuses left. If I see a client is sedentary, when they come in and say “I did my 10k steps everyday this week” I can shake my head and say, “not so much”. If you want an aggressive approach and /control/ over your body’s progress, this is the next piece of equipment to buy.

  3. Betty says:

    Let me tell you about the bugg. Hubby and I have lost 130 lbs. combined both using the bodybugg. Just let go of your angst and give it a try if you have struggled with your weight (we are 56 and 57 years old). It was the only tool EVER that taught me how being sedentary did nothing for burning calories (I wore mine 24/7 – with the exception of showering). That’s how I learned that I only burn 1.3 calories per minute sitting all day (I burn around .9 to 1.0 sleeping). And it really got us moving. We walk in the morning before work, we work out at night and we learned that you have to get up and move throughout the day (just stand, walk — nothing exciting) to make all of the difference in the world. And this was the only way I could fine-tune my nutrition and lose only fat — not lean muscle tissue. I subjected myself to regular hydrostatic bodyfat testing (underwater — Gold standard method) and learned over six months I only lost one pound of lean. I could not have done that if I had not been able to monitor my protein intake as closely as I did with bodybugg. Don’t freak out about the subscription. We only wore ours for six months and won’t likely ever need it again. It’s a tool that helps you learn about your body, your habbits, etc. and once you learn the recipe, you are good to go. We have not gained any weight back and we are still going strong. I wish I would not have gotten a one year on-line subscription because I stopped using it — not becuase it didn’t work, but because it worked so well.

    I think this is the coolest tool ever — I was a size 16 and now I am a size 4 — I am lean, lean, lean — and the bodybugg showed me what to do (I have a testimonial on the http://www.apexfitness.com) site — I would get it again and again – it was worth every penny (and we both loved the watch as it gives calories burned per minute info that you can re-set when you change your activity) – it was a great way to learn what exercise gives you the most bang for the buck!

  4. Kristi says:

    I have the body bugg too. I really like it as a tool to track how many calories I am burning. I however am very annoyed that I cannot upload my data or use the digital display after 14 days of data collection. I paid almost $300 dollars for it and they put a bug in the system that does not allow me to use it. I agree with the greed statement. Quite honestly the only reason that I would extend my subscription to the web site would be so that I can upload my data … but the fact that they essentially have to force you to buy their product (the web site) indicates just how useless the website it. For this reason alone I would not recommend the product to friends even though the body bugg technology itself is awesome! I actually use http://www.livestrong.com to track all of my caloric intake and calorie expenditure. It is a much better web program than the apex web program.

  5. Kim says:

    I too own a bodybugg and absolutely love it. I have the original so mine is not waterproof which annoys me. I may soon be upgrading. I don’t know if what I do now will work with the new one but I quit my subscription ages ago and simply wear the watch to monitor the calories burned and steps taken. When bugg’s memory gets full I take out the battery and leave it out overnight and then all the memory is erased and it works again.

    • Andrea says:

      Kim..thanks for the tip on erasing the memory. I just bought mine through ebay(includes the digital display) and I don’t want the web subscription. I just want to know how many calories I’ve burned each day, that’s it. I track my calories through another really great application. I can also enter the calories I burned each day into the same site I log my calories into. This site also provides charts and so on. So, there is really no need to fork out extra cash for something I don’t need. Thanks again for the info! :)

  6. sherrie says:

    So Kim if I buy the watch with digital display I can use it without the subscription if I just take the battery out overnight?? I have a V2 is that what you have? I am unemployed and I want to use my bodybugg but can’t afford the subscriptions

  7. majortom64 says:

    I have to agree with the greed statement. The device is expensive enough that unless it is very poorly designed, it is easily profitable. I do not want to use their site, I already use other similar (and free ones) and would have considered it if there was a way to get the data into the site I use. I am looking at the product from MyBasis.com (if I get picked for their beta).

    For the record, there is a python tool that clears the data from the device in case one wants to use it without the subscription, but you then need either an iPhone or the display watch to see your data and some of it is not available that way.

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