GOQii Life is the first-ever Indian fitness tracker and also the first Indian wearable to make it to the U.S. shores via a limited beta trial. In India, the tracker went up for sale in October and was offered to the 10,000 customers. In the U.S., the device will be available on first-come-first-serve basis to the 500 users who will also be in luck to receive personalized coaching lesson via unlimited chat and monthly video calls worth $99. With the subscription services, the device comes free-of-cost.
GOQii is a wellness and health company that offers personalized coaching too. The company believes that limited availability will help the company to test the waters for a global release. According to a spokesman, the limited release is to ensure that the tracker can generate results and the company could smoothen out kinks before it moves into general availability.
The device is not plug-and-play. Before you start using it, you need to create an account on the official website wherein you need to fill relevant information like height, weight and dietary habits. The box includes an activation code that goes there for authentication. You can also download the app on your smartphone and create an account.
Indian and U.S. edition of GOQii Life differs though. To charm the American users, GOQii has thrown in couple of added features such as local coaches and advanced integration with Apple’s Health Kit.
Along with GOQii and an activation card, accessories like Bluetooth USB dongle, an extra plastic band and USB charger. Instruction manual also finds some space inside the box. The dongle can be used to connect the fitness tracker to the computer. The connecting app can be downloaded through the official website. GOQii Life fitness tracker is compatible with Android (version 4.3 and above), Windows Mobile 8.1 and iOS 7+
The straps are water-proof and made of tough rubber that is yet very soft on wrist. The touchscreen OLED display of GOQii Life is made of small LEDs that make the screen clearer and offer better readability in daylight than the likes of Motorola Moto 360. The display has resistive touch which means all you have to do is a swipe to see the parameters. At 12:00 AM, the parameters will set to zero by default. The detached module inside the band is the heart of the GOQii Life and does all the tracking for you. To charge the device, you need to separate the module and charge it. The battery life disappoints, though. Without any smartwatch function or GPS, GOQii Life’s battery is expected to last about 4-5 days.
GOQii Life is not your everyday fitness tracker. Rather, it includes personal coaching and ‘karma’ points to helps users to attain their fitness goals and do some good deeds that can make them feel blissful from within. Based on your activity, Karma points are accumulated in the form of money, which is then donated to the select charity on your behalf. The only partner onboard with the tracker as of now is Oxfam.
According to the CEO and founder of GOQii, Vishal Gondal, the Karma points will help the users to live meaningful life and lead healthier lifestyle knowing that their money is making the right difference. The human connection, Gondal says, will prompt the users to carry on despite the barriers and not give up as it usually happens with other fitness trackers.
Vishal Gondal was a game developer who went on to sell his company, Indiagames to Walt Disney for $100 million. Now, with GOQii, he has partnered with Reebok and Microsoft. He has also received angel funding of $2.5 million from various investors. The alpha test of GOQii was done in the UAE, Singapore and India. The tracker was declared out-of-stock within a week of its launch in India.
Other than the coaching and charity, it counts steps, tracks the distance covered and monitors the number of calories burnt. It also tracks your sleeping manually and active time. When it figures that you are not sleeping or moving enough, it suggest you the necessary precautions and tells you to pay attention to your fitness regime. It also advises you to eat healthy and sets goal for you. The best part is, real-time suggestions are delivered to you via smartphone app from your coach and you can always set up a video or IM call with your coach, if you have any doubt.
The online coaches available for coaching on GOQii are certified and qualified. They also go through company’s program before going ‘Live’ with you. Also, the lifestyle change plans are comprehensive and goes beyond fitness. Whether you are training for a marathon or finding ways and some motivation to kick the butt, the uniquely customized plans are available for every need and problem. With the online coaching program and the human connection, GOQii hopes that users will stick to it and won’t leave it when they get bored or don’t find any real function to it, something that could motivate them to push through.
In this case, as soon as you set up the GOQii Life, a personal trainer will contact you and stay in touch with you over video calls and IM chats to keep taps on your fitness routine.
Availability and price of GOQii Life
The retail price of GOQii Life is $99. The device will be available only to the customers who will provide regular feedback to improve the user experience. For its alpha edition, company has managed to register about 10,000 people.
The concept of somebody watching and monitoring you is terrific and it may make GOQii Life a class apart. But the band needs to work on the firmware and battery life that is said to be an average fare. Till then, we are happy that it is on the right track and offering real-time and personal guidance to fitness enthusiasts and not something off the Internet, which applies to all and is half-baked.