Bodybugg V2 Reviewed

February 25, 2009

As some know I have had the bodybugg for about two months now, which i think gives me enough time to give an honest review.

First an update for those that don’t know what the bodybugg is:

Bodybugg V2

Bodybugg V2

Bodybugg takes the guesswork out of weight loss by monitoring your calorie expenditure and consumption using the most sophisticated consumer body monitoring capabilities available on the market today.

The bodybugg v2 is basically a monitor about the size of a small cellphone that you wear on your arm all day and it tracks calories burned using an accelerometer as the main input but also a heat flux sensor, GSR (galvanic skin response sensor), and skin temperture.

Over the two and a half months i put the bodybugg v2 through it’s paces and the following is what I liked and what I didn’t like:

Likes:

  1. It monitors your movements and steps pretty accurately.
  2. Somewhat comfortable, after a while you forget you have it on.
  3. *Uploads data onto the web
  4. *Simple and straight-forward to use
  5. Can motivate you to move more
  6. *Get real feedback on calories burned

Dislikes:

  1. V2 is somewhat bulky
  2. Must use the paid website inorder to get results
  3. Must wear on the arm
  4. *For realtime feedback, must buy a separate watch
  5. *Must upload to the Website
  6. Computer interface and website can be complicated to set up
  7. *Some exercises (cycling, for instance, may not be accurate)

*I have a star next to some of these because it’s both a good and bad thing.

Likes:

1. It monitors your movements and steps pretty accurately.

You can wear it all day while your awake, which makes it easy to see which times of day your the most accurate, and where you can pick it up a little bit.

2. Somewhat comfortable, after a while you forget you have it on.

I often found myself at the end of the day forgetting that i even had it on.  This is a good thing in that you don’t want to wear something uncomfortable all day.

3. *Uploads data onto the web

With using a web program it’s nice because if you travel you can use someone else’s computer and still keep all of your tracking and info up-to-date.

4. *Simple and straight-forward to use

Once registered, you put the bodybugg on everyday, it turns itself on, and when your done, you take it off, it turns itself off.

5.Can motivate you to move more

When you have it on it serves as the little angel on your shoulder, reminding you of the goals that your working towards.  Also seeing your progress visually on the website is also motivating.

6.*Get real feedback on calories burned

If you don’t have the watch (an extra $100 bucks), you still get somewhat real time feedback in that, at the end of the day you sync up and you can see how active you were for that day, or workout.

Dislikes:

1.V2 is somewhat bulky.

This is my main complaint about the bodybugg v2 unit itself.  It’s not too big where it’s uncomfortable to wear, but big enough to if you are wearing tight fitted clothing, or big arms, you have a lump or bulge on one arm.

2.Must use the paid website inorder to get results.

And this is my #1 negative of the whole system (bodybugg v2 AND v3 and gowearfit also).  You must pay a monthly fee in order to use the bodybugg.  Even if you shell out the $100 bucks for the watch, after 14 days if you do not offload the data then you can no longer use the system.  And the only way to offload the data is if you are paying the subscription fee.

3.Must wear on the arm.

I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, and for most it’s not, however i know many people trying to loose weight who don’t exactly like their arms and all they need is something to bring more attention to them.  Also when wearing tight fitting clothes there is a large bulge on the arm which make you think twice about the clothes your trying to wear. It would be nice if there was an option to wear it in different locations.

4.*For realtime feedback, must buy a separate watch

It would be nice if on the unit itself you could see some sort of real time feedback, or if the watch was included for free, however it seems like another “gotcha” when you have to put out another $100 for a feature that should already be included.  There are times when you want to wear another watch, however you would still like to “check in” on your progress.

5.*Must upload to the Website

I konw i’ve talked about the website already but this is another addition.. While using the bodybugg there was a few times where either my internet was down for one reason or another, or i didn’t have access to the net, or their website was down and/or giving errors.  If i was on my 14th day i could see this being a major issue/frustation.

6.Computer interface and website can be complicated to set up

I consider myself computer literate (most of my friends come to me when they have a computer issue), however, there were times setting this thing up when i wanted to pull my hair out!  It just seemed not to want to install or run correctly.  Once i did get it set up it wasn’t too bad, but sometimes it felt like it just didn’t feel like working that day.

7.*Some exercises (cycling, for instance, may not be accurate)


I don’t cycle all that much, or swim – there are some who do and you cannot swim with this unit and i have heard complaints that the accuracy of the unit while cycling is off.

So there it is, my review. Do i recommend it? I would go for the v3 or gowearfit, however it can be a useful tool if you can get passed the negatives, the main one being having to pay extra for things that should be included, and the size (which the v3 is much more “wearable”) then i would say go for it.

Bodybugg v2

I give it an 8/10








Fitbit and Old Macs

January 14, 2009

So i was asked a few times if i knew if Fitbit could run on older pre-Intel macs.  I didn’t know so i went to the source to find out:

ME:

I know that it says the Fitbit will work with the Mac OS X what about the previous versions aka the pre-Intel Macs? Any idea how many more weeks you have left before it is officially released?

The Fitbit Team:

I spoke to our Mac developers and testers and they said our software will work on pre-Intel Macs.

We are still on target for first quarter 2009, though probably toward the tail end of the first quarter.  We want to make sure the mass produced Fitbits are of the highest quality.  You can view our progress on our blog http://blog.fitbit.com

Thank you for your patience,
The Fitbit Team

I know I’ve been talking about a bodybugg review it’s on it’s way, hold on tight – And as of right now it looks like i will be getting one of these when it’s released, so i will be able to do a head to head.




Gas Milage, MPG, and contraptions

November 14, 2008

Gas is starting to come down in price, but it doesn’t mean that people have stopped worrying about saving money. I found a few sites that give some great tips on SIMPLE ways that you can get better MPG without any major modifications.

if your trying to find what you can do now… there’s good news, there is a lot you can do now to get better gas milage and all WITHOUT (for the most part) any damage and/or mods to your car

incase you still wonder about some of these MPG options check out

this first two links talk about mods to your car that may or may not work –
http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1802932.html

gas saver flops

Edmunds puts myths and hear-say to the test..
Edmunds fuel economy test

A few websites with some great tips… because behavior is the number one way to save on MPG
fuel academy tips

fuel economy tips

More tips

-this is a great video… although i don’t recommend turning off your car while driving
great video

even more tips

I have plenty more, including some info on the great Ethanol (which you might already be using and not know it)

Stay tuned… do your research


FitBit

October 4, 2008

As many of you already know i’ve been back and forth with a calorie burning monitor.  The latest two have been Polar or Bodybugg. Well a new monitor is set to hit the scene very soon. It is called the FitBit and it looks promising.

From the website:

You can wear the Fitbit Tracker loosely in your pocket, clipped to your pants, shirt, bra or to your wrist when you are sleeping. You can wear it all day!

The Fitbit Tracker is wireless. Walk within 25-50ft of the provided basestation and your data will be automatically uploaded to the Fitbit website. The auto-sync software runs on both Macs and PC’s.

View calories, steps and distance on the Fitbit Tracker itself. You can login to the Fitbit website to see even more detailed data and also participate in collaborative fitness goals with friends, family and co-workers.

FitBit 1Fitbit 2

So what makes it promising?

  • size- it’s very small, and with a built in clip (think almost like the new ipod shuffle) you could be wearing it, and no one would even know.
  • price – $99 puts it cheaper than the others and (atleast for the first few months) NO SUBSCRIPTION fee to use the website!!! this means your not paying $250 and then another $12-20 bucks a month.
  • wireless – dont have to worry about plugging it in

So what are it’s drawbacks?

  • the main on is it only uses an accelerometer to track your movements… this means it won’t always be as accurate in your calories burned.
  • No heart rate – again because it only uses the accelerometer you don’t get your heart rate during exercise.
  • Extra fees – they aren’t clear if the no subscription is forever or only for a few months or years.
  • New company – no track record.

I will let you know when i have more information on this product, it looks as though they are trying to get them out about December/January which is when the V3 bodybugg is to be released… interesting.


Polar pt2

August 4, 2008

So if you haven’t read (previous post) i’ve been going back and forth between BodyBugg and Polar HRM – after polar’s most recent email back… i think i know which one i’m going with:

Here’s my email:

If i was looking for the best device to track my Total Calorie Expenditure
for the entire day (day or night, awake or asleep, working out or resting)
which device would i want?

And Polar’s Reply:

Dear Anomoly,

Thank you for your email.

It is well known that the heart rate tends to overestimate daily energy
expenditure. This is because in everyday life heart rate can be elevated
due to other reasons than physical activity (changes in posture, emotional
factors, mental stress, heavy exercise before). On the other hand, heart
rate is practically never lower than the metabolic cost requires.
Subsequently, energy expenditure estimates tend to be too high in
measurements done over extended periods.

Polar heart rate based caloric equation has been shown to be very accurate
during physical activity (heart rate over 100 bpm). The accuracy is not as
good at low heart rates. Even below 100 bpm it is in the right level if
elevations in heart rate due to other factors than physical activity can be
eliminated.

So in short they confirmed what most had speculated… Heart Rate Monitor’s are decent for Exercise, not great when it comes to everyday calorie expendeture.

So that answers my question, now i just have to find out with the Bodybugg V3 is hitting the market….


Polar… so cool

July 31, 2008

So as i stated before i’m going back and fourth between the bodybugg (version 3 soon to be out) and a Polar f11.

I would just go with bodybugg but something about paying that $14-$30 a month bothers me.  I contacted Polar to find out their take on the Bodybugg… here’s my questions and what they had to say:

1. do you have any products like the apex bodybugg?
2. do you have any watches that don’t require a chest band?
2b. do the f series require a chest band? for heart monitor

_____________________________

Dear Anomoly,

Thank you for your email.

We are not familiar with the Apex Bodybugg product.

All Polar monitors require a chest transmitter for continuos heart rate
monitoring.  The only product that is sold through Amazon.com that does not
require a chest strap is the A4. With the A4 you can press two fingers
against a button to get a quick pulse reading.  However in order to record
calories or heart rate you will need a transmitter.

I find it interesting that they are “not familar with the bodybugg”. Either way it looks like i’m still on the hunt – off to the gym!