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









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


Fast text entry for WM phones

November 2, 2008

If you look at some of my other post you know i have the Sprint Touch by HTC-

Recently a few similar programs have come to light…

SWYPE has been in the news because of it’s success at Techcrunch50.

Swype:

Swype provides a faster and easier way to input text on any screen. With one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard, the patented technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods—at over 50 words per minute. The application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more.


However, now that it has gotten a lot of attention, many are saying it’s not an original idea at all. I found two other companies with similar ideas:

ShapeWriter:

ShapeWriter™ makes mobile phones, tablet computers, game pads, and all other touch-screen devices more useful – and user friendly.

The next step in the evolution of touch-screen technology has arrived. ShapeWriter makes using touch-screen devices easier, faster and more enjoyable than ever before. Ideally suited for touch-screen devices such as mobile phones, handhelds and tablet computers, ShapeWriter’s cutting-edge text input technology helps manufacturers of these devices create the most innovative new products for consumers.

ShapeWriter is already out on certain devices, however the only one i care about is WM6 since that is what my phone works off of, and no it’s not out yet on WM but i’m hoping sooner than later.

SlideIT:

SlideIT™ is a breakthrough, speedy and intuitive way to write text on touch screen enabled devices. Instead of the current method of tapping each letter on the screen, the user points to the first letter of a word and slides the stylus to the subsequent letters. .

When reaching the last letter of the word, the user simply lifts the stylus and the recognized word is automatically inserted together with a space after the word. Suitable for writing text in all applications, users love the feel of being able to write quickly and accurately. Speeds of more than 50 words per minute are achievable.

SlideIT is the only out of the three that is currently available for WM.  SlideIt offers a free demo and if available for purchase a low $40.

I’ve tried out Slide it and it’s pretty fun. My gripes about it include the half dome shaped keyboard (i know they do this in order to allow for the graffiti input to the left).  However i have found my speed on the keyboard increasing as i use it more and more.

Check back as i will be updating as i start to use some of these other keyboard options soon. Of course if you have tried any (of these or others) feel free to comment.


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!


BodyBugg Update

July 31, 2008

So after my short run in with the nice people at Bodybugg… i thought i would ask a few more questions (maybe find out if they are ever going to offer a desktop version… here’s my questions… and the answers follow:

so does this mean that the bodybugg will always be subscription based. and that you can’t just download a program to upload info to the computer? any idea what the version 3 is going to cost? will it have the digital display included?

________________________________________

The bodybugg program is and will always be subscription based…..
There will never be a program you can upload the info to your computer….
We don’t have a price for the Version 3 armband but it should be similar to the current Version 2 armband….

The digital display is a separate unit and will not be included in the Version 3 armband…

So i guess that just about clears it up. I’ve been going back and fourth with this and a Polar f11, i will wait for version 3 and make a choice then… comments and questions are welcomed… my talks with Polar to follow….