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









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….


BodyBugg

July 31, 2008

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.