GAMES & GADGETS

Bond over a band

By PRASUN CHAUDHURI
  • Published 13.11.17
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Bond over a band

GADGET: GetActive by 2mpower, Bangalore
TECH SPECS: Bluetooth sports activity smartband compatible with Android as well as iOS devices 
PRICE: Rs 2,499 online
BEST FOR: Tracking steps, calories burnt and sleep

Have you joined the fitness band club yet? Wearable fitness gadgets is now a multi-billion dollar industry. That band around your wrist can measure how many steps you take in a day (at least 10,000) and display how many calories you have burnt as a graph on your smartphone. Some even track your sleep. Pricey models can gauge heart health, blood oxygen level and body mass. My tracker even encouraged me to join a community of fitness-minded individuals to stay motivated.

“I’d love to call this trend  ‘gamification of wellness’. It sets goals so that you can challenge yourself and compete with others in an online community,” says Mohammed Hussain Naseem, founder and head of GetActive, a fitness regimen for corporate employees and individuals. If you have to wear a fitness band, it is best to choose one designed by a fitness freak like Naseem, who started GetActive in 2009 along with fellow enthusiast Murtaza Beawerwall. “After returning to India in 1998, I realised that people tend to ignore their health after joining a corporate job. So I thought of doing something about it,” said the tall, spare Naseem, who still participates in marathons at 53. A graduate of IIT-Bombay, he worked in top IT firms for 20 years before setting up a fitness start-up. In the beginning it was a wellness centre in Koramangala, Bangalore’s start-up hub, with a team of doctors, physiotherapists, and nutritionists. He reached out to corporates to get employees enrolled in a programme with a personal health coach.

He roped in about 2,500 clients but 80 per cent of them dropped out. “We learnt that people hate a third person regulating their lifestyle,” says Naseem. So he designed three smart health-monitoring devices, which connect to a smartphone app through a buddy programme. Users are rewarded with virtual currency for meeting or exceeding pre-programmed fitness goals, which can be redeemed for gifts at retail stores or a health check-up.

I use GetActive Slim that has a sleep monitor, fitness tracker and provides personalised health updates. It is a gentle reminder, a little push, without imposing too much. It builds healthy competition and peer pressure, which motivates you.

One grouse: there are some minor installation issues that don’t get solved if you are an individual user.

POP PICKS

Other fitness bands available

Curiocity: Tracks activity such as steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes, and can sync this data to the app. Built-in high performance G-sensor for more accurate data

Price: Rs 2,099

Portronics POR-666 Yogg X: A slim tracker with a touch-enabled detachable dial. Pairs with smartphone on Bluetooth 4.0; consumes less power

Price: Rs 2,499

Goqii: Tracks heart rate, daily steps, calories burned, distance covered, active hours and sleep pattern. You can get a personal coach, free doctor consultation and take diagnostic tests from home through a partner lab

Price: Rs 3,999

Boltt Beat: With continuous heart rate monitoring, it tracks hourly calories, distance, steps, flights climbed, running, walking and active time. Also measures quantity and quality of sleep and even toss and turns. Comes with a subscription of the Boltt Health App and an AI Personal Coach

Price: Rs 1,999