#GoQii - Jiminy cricket on your wrist
Just in case you don't know who Jiminy Cricket is - there's a Wiki page for it - he epitomises the conscience. Mine has been alive and well since Gitex when I got one of the Beta versions of GoQii. Let me clarify the hardware is not in Beta; the service that accompanies it, is. So wearables are being talked of more and more these days and one of the key sectors is the fitness one with the likes of FitBit, Jawbone etc. They all are linked to apps to keep track of what you're doing and how well (or not) you are doing with your goals. So what sets GoQii apart? Its the service with the live interaction with personal trainers that makes the difference. To be honest, back in 2009, I was given something similar by Philips called DirectLife. The interaction with the trainer was minimal. With GoQii its a lot more hands on and active.
To begin with, the set up takes you straight to the App - all very simple and clearly instructed. The hardware is quite simple to set up - a bit fiddly to put to sleep and wake - still takes me several attempts even after three weeks of using it. The first synchronisation between mobile app and the band was a bit fiddly but it got there in the end. There still seems to be a disconnect between the app on the mobile and the update showing up on the web application so I stuck to doing the updates on the mobile and hoping that at some point it will show up in the web version. Which it does. The app measures everything in footsteps and allocates you karma points based on how many steps you take. Which in a way is quite simple since all you have to do is step up the count. The chances of getting people to use this would be higher because stepping up the footstep count is probably more easily done - like walking up and down in the apartment - rather than making the effort to go to the gym.
Since it is officially launched in India at the moment through Amazon, most of the trainers are based in India. My allocated personal trainer made contact within 48 hours of beginning to use the app and filling out the lifestyle questions. She gives me feedback on my food intake and my activity with suggestions for change almost daily. But I feel a bit of a disconnect since she is based in India and a bit difficult to explain to her our lifestyle here in Dubai (or elsewhere in the region) including backgrounds and habits. As an Indian, its probably easier for her to understand some of my food habits but if she got input saying Chicken adobo - I can picture a perplexed look on her face. Which is probably why they try and organise a face to face Skype call within the first week to get a feel. Unfortunately, I still haven't had that yet with my trainer. But my step count has gone up and I am conscious of how little or how much more I am doing. It has made me get up and go for a 15-min walk in the morning.
The Karma points I accumulate can be donated to a favourite charity which is an additional motivator.
There are no official prices for UAE (or Middle East) as yet and one hopes that this will be reflected by the services of local trainers and online offers locally. For now, I am getting up from my chair and taking a turn because my band has been buzzing on my wrist to tell me I've stayed inactive for too long.