A controversial calorie-counting wristband, which had been denounced by some medical experts, has been put to the test by the BBC.
The creators of the GoBe wristband say it can automatically, non-invasively count the calories eaten by the wearer.
After crowdfunding $1.1m (£707,000) to build the product, the company experienced an intense backlash – with critics saying it was a “scam”.
The BBC challenged its makers to prove it was capable of doing what they said.
After the GoBe team sought cash for the project, medical experts warned that they thought the kit was either vapourwear that would never exist, or would fail to live up to its inventors’ claims.
And when the bracelet’s Indiegogo page raised more than a million dollars – more than 10 times its target – members of the medical profession lined up to explain that even if the tech did monitor blood’s glucose concentration, as suggested, that still wouldn’t deliver a reliable guide to calorie intake.
It didn’t help that when the start-up involved, HealBe, published details of “independent” research into its tech, it emerged that claims of an 84%-93% accuracy rate were based on tests that had involved only five people monitored over a five-day period.
So when George Mikaberydze – the firm’s co-founder – agreed to let the BBC test GoBe, we were slightly surprised.
Spoiler: it worked better than we expected, but our test was hardly scientific and far from conclusive.
On the plus side, the experiment involved eating and drinking a meal of our choosing after we rejected HealBe’s offer to pick out the food that would be consumed.
On the minus side, we did not have the opportunity to try out GoBe ourselves as we were told “it takes time to calibrate” to a specific person, and so the results were based on us stuffing Mr Mikaberydze with snack food.