If your fitness band doesn’t motivate you as much as you’d like, and a push from an actual human to start working out and eating more healthily would be more effective, then Goqii (pronounced like ‘go key’) may be the app for you. It partners you with a coach, who through messages and calls, will spur you on to meet your goals. We first heard about Goqii over a year ago, when it opened a beta program in the U.S., and it’s now ready for everyone to use.
To make use of Goqii’s unusual personal coaching aspect, you’ll need a subscription to the app, and a compatible fitness tracking smart band. Goqii’s own fitness band is free to subscribers, but the app also works with other trackers, including Fitbit bands, Jawbone Up, Misfit’s wearables, the Apple Watch, and Google Fit-enabled hardware. Regardless of which tracker you use, the app costs $29 each month.
The idea is to solve the problem of having plenty of data at our fingertips, but no real advice on what to do with it, or how to improve. It’s a serious issue with many fitness wearables, and Goqii’s coaches aim to overcome it by analyzing your activity, helping to set goals, and perhaps most importantly, providing motivation and guidance. You can chat to the coach through the app, and there are scheduled monthly calls too.
Karma and coaching
The app will keep track of steps, activity, calories, and sleep, plus there’s space for meal and water intake logs. Interestingly, the motivation to reach your goals in the app doesn’t have to be solely personal. When you pass set milestones, you earn Karma Points, which can be converted over to cash donated to a charity.
It’s not clear whether you can choose to hold things back from your coach, who you pick based on what aspects of your life you want to change, which does raise some privacy concerns. Although the latest news doesn’t mention anything about how coaches are selected by Goqii, prior to the beta launch the company said it will only use properly screened and certified U.S. and international health coaches.
Additionally, the band’s specification isn’t discussed in detail. We know it has a touch activated OLED screen and connects with your smartphone using Bluetooth 4.0. The battery should last between seven and 10 days, will show basic notifications from your phone, plus it’ll track movement and sleep. The Goqii app is available for iOS and Android.
Motivation, clear goals, and accountability are all very important factors in adopting and maintaining a healthy life, but personal trainers and lifestyle coaches are expensive, especially if you want one available each day. Goqii may have found a way to wrap all this up into a single app, that makes use of the fitness tracking tech we already own, and for a reasonable price. If you’re interested in trying it out, then download the iOS app.
Updated on 04-27-2016 by Andy Boxall: Rewritten article following Goqii’s U.S. launch