Wi-Fi Connected Scale Integrates Health Tracking Features
Withings’ new Smart Body Analyzer is an Internet-connected scale that tracks your weight, body fat, heart rate, and even the temperature of your room.
The scale, which sells for $149, is the biggest update for Withings since the company released the first Internet-connected scale in 2009. They’ve since added an app-enabled scale and one just for babies.
The new scale is black, sleek and slim, easily fitting into any decor, which is a good thing because Withings would like you to keep it in your bedroom. (more on that later.)
Simple Set Up
Setting up the scale was surprisingly easy. I simply pressed the Bluetooth button on the back of the scale for 2 seconds, made sure Bluetooth was turned on on my phone, and it connected. It then connected to my home’s Wi-Fi, transferring data from my iPhone so I didn’t even have to look up my router’s password. Note that the scale can connect to your device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. From there, I was prompted to download the free Withings Health Mate App, which holds all your data.
The app walks you through setting up a user profile, asking for height, weight and age, and any other family members you would like to add to the scale. I entered my info and stepped on the scale. You’re supposed to relax when standing on the scale, which sounds odd, but the reason is it takes a few seconds to register your resting heart rate and the oxygen levels in the room. Seeing the body fat percentage, however, may get your heart beating quicker.
All the info gathered from the scale then appeared in the app on my phone. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Then I asked my husband to step on the scale. It recognized it was a different user and from the approximate weight I put in for him in the profile, it flashed his inititals. You can add up to eight users and not worry about privacy. While the scale recognized my husband based on his weight, it did not send subsequent weigh-ins to my app. He would have to set up a separate password-protected profile on his app in order to see that data.
In addition to tracking your weight and BMI which is not new, Withings is looking to add other ways to keep or get you living a healthier lifestyle. The app suggests other things you can do, for instance, like encouraging you to exercise. It integrates with popular apps like Runkeeper and MyFitness Pal to help keep track of your daily activity as well as calorie intake. To track sleep it suggests using a Body Media armband or Zeo headband. Withings says there are more than 80 compatible applications and devices that integrate and retrieve data from the Smart Body Scale.
Your heart health is a pretty good indicator of your overall physical state of health, says Withings, and that ‘s the reason they integrated this information into the scale. Since most people weigh themselves first thing in the morning — that’s when your resting heart rate is most consistent — they included it so you can take action if needed. Once the data is synced to your app, you can add an external device, like a heart rate monitor or blood pressure reader. That way if you need to be checked more frequently, you can access the data all in one place. The app also makes it easy to share this info with your doctor, offering to send the data by email.
One note about sharing; you can share any and all your information with your doctor or your social networks. I opted to share nothing, but get a little worried each time I weigh myself and the app asks me if I want to share the number. Since my sharing settings are not set up, it won’t go anywhere even if I do accidentally hit it, but it’s easy enough if someone wants to share weight loss milestones on Facebook or Twitter.
Breathe in the Air
The scale is designed to be used in your bedroom, even including “footies” to be placed on the bottom so it works well on carpeting. Since many people place their scale in the bathroom, this is a new concept. Those who monitor their health know all too well it’s not just about counting calories. The scale is actually measuring your indoor air quality. “It is commonly assessed that air quality is worse inside the home than outside, so we wanted to make available to as many people as possible a way to assess this and realize it is important to ventilate, open the windows on a very regular basis,” Withings tells Mashable.
A rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration indicates you don’t ventilate your home enough. At high levels, the CO2 concentration itself can cause headaches, problems sleeping and other symptoms. A spokesperson says this is important for people to know so they can “change their behavior to live in a healthier environment.” In other words, even in the dead of winter when it’s freezing outside, open your window and get a little fresh air.
The Smart Body Analyzer is a great way to keep track of all your health and fitness goals. Its easy setup and sleek look are a welcome addition to my bedroom. The heart rate and air quality readings are what push the price of this scale to $149, so if you don’t think you’ll use that data, you can get the WS-30 for $99. Though Withings has worked with companies to expand integration, as the owner of both a Nike FuelBand and a Jawbone Up, I wish it would works with more third-party devices.
What do you think of the scale’s new features? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of Withings