Indiegogo, the crowdfunding service that has raised money for causes such as the Sundance film Dear White People and the Jamaican bobsled team’s trip to the Sochi Olympics, has taken a hit for backing the GoBe activity tracker.
The GoBe activity tracker, which is being pushed by a Moscow-based venture called HealBe, claims to automatically calculate the total calories a person burns while exercising.
According to Crowdfundinsider, certain factors cast doubts over GoBe’s claims, such as:
- The limited or non-existent online histories of the project’s creators
- Claims that the product was demoed at CES 2014, which has turned out to be false.
- While the company claims to be based in San Francisco, its team is actually based in Russia. Its American operations comprise of a lawyer and a public relations office in New Hampshire.
Dr. David Ahn, an endocrinology fellow from San Diego, shared the skepticism over the project. In an article published in iMedicalapps, he said: “… The GoBe’s promise of passive nutrition tracking has raised significant skepticism over the accuracy and reliability of such a device, and has raised questions over the responsibility of crowdfunding sites when promoting these campaigns.”
According to Pando, the Federal Trade Commission has barred HealBe from advertising through traditional media because it has failed to provide sufficient scientific proof to support its claim.
As of today, the project has raised $919,918, surpassing its goal of $100,000. We’ve reached out to HealBe CEO Artem Shipitsin for comment and we will update this post as soon as we receive a response. For now, donate to the project at your own risk.