The craze for the quantified self is finally coming to India. Yes, there are thousands of people who already use Nike Fuels and Fitbits. Then there are those who are planning to buy the new Samsung Fit to go with their new Samsung Galaxy S5. But why not look at a device that is very Indian at heart and in origin.
GOQii is a fitness band, but it also coming with a personalised coach, something none of the other fitness devices have been able to integrate so far. So along with the band, which tracks your daily activities and calories burned, there are experts who try and make sense of this data and coaches who help you make “sustainable and incremental changes towards a more healthy and active lifestyle”. To aid the band in connecting with the experts and the coaches there will be a GOQii app.
An integral part of the whole GOQii idea are Karma points which you earn by meeting your daily goals. The points can be used to donate to good causes and GOQii has already tied up with Oxfam India as its Karma partner.
The venture is backed by some very familiar names. For instance, Vishal Gondal, who founded Indiagames, is the founder and CEO of GOQii, which is headquartered in California with offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen.
A self confessed fitness freak, Vishal says he tried out every fitness band out there to keep fit, but it was a physical coach that actually started making an impact on his health. That could explain why GOQii is a mix of a gadget along with handholding from the coach via the app and pre-scheduled monthly video/audio calls. He got people from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on the project. So you have well known names like Amit Singhal of Google, Anil Godhwani of Habitera and Kanwaljit Bombra of Dell who have backed the project along with veteran actor Madhuri Dixit-Nene and her husband Dr Shriram Nene.
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“There is no right and wrong with GOQii. It is about removing certain negatives and adding some positives to your life,” explains Gondal in a YouTube video. And there is also a serious element of gamification to the entire exercise. That was expected, with Gondal being part of the show. “The GOQii is centred aroun the coach and the band is a just a tool for data collection,” he explains how it is different from the other bands. The band itself is an advanced fitness tracker with a full touch display and a ultra-lightweight water resistant construction. It syncs wirelessly with a smartphones using Bluetooth LE and includes a watch, a motion sensor which can track steps, calories, distance and active time.
But, yes, you have pay for the coach too. So a six month plan, including the band and the coach, will cost Rs 5,999, while a 12-month plan will set you back by Rs 9,999. The band will be available from this April.