Keeping yourself healthy with connected technology is great, but often the way we go about it is clumsy: It's all about strapping gadgets to your body in order to feed data to your phone. Wear this thing when you run, this thing when you sleep, this thing when you go swimming, and so on until you're never not wearing some kind of connected health bauble. If smartwatches and sleep trackers aren't quite your style, however, you're in luck: The folks at Withings have released a new model in their line of highly successful connected scales that takes aim at other health gadgets.
Can your bathroom scale really measure all the data you need for a detailed look at how healthy you are? We've been using the new Body Cardio for a couple of days now, and here's how it works!
Meet the Withings Body Cardio
Withings's new scale is all about adding data to your body profile: It uses pulse wave velocity measurement on top of existing sensors to help determine your heart rate, body water percentage, muscle mass, and your body fat percentage.
To measure, just step on the scale; you get your weight immediately, but stick around for a few moments more to see this extra information displayed on the screen. (If you're also using a Withings step tracker, you'll see the same information pushed to your wrist, as well as a glance at the day's weather.) While this additional information is fun for a data junkie to look at on their scale, it's in the Withings app where that data offers a more complete picture of your personal health.
The picture of health
As you step on the scale over time, the app records data; that data — specifically, your heart rate and total body water percentage — then adds to the "butterfly" that makes up your personal profile. Withings claims that scale's pulse wave velocity measurement provides a better sense of heart health; tracking that data will also let you see your resting heart rate decrease over time as you exercise.
That said, the company is quite clear that its statement hasn't been evaluated by the FDA, and the scale shouldn't be used to diagnose anything. Which is good, since our tests revealed some significant variance in heart rate measurement when climbing on the scale repeatedly and comparing results to wrist and finger-based heart rate monitors.
Withings does get credit once again for releasing a scale crammed with sensors to give you a better sense of how your body behaves from day to day. The hardware itself looks nice, and Withings claims its battery will run for an entire year before needing a charge.
These scales are the closest thing to a set-and-forget connected health appliance, and when paired with Withings's app, you'll get a ton of useful information about your body at your fingertips. Whether that translates to losing weight or more activity is, of course, entirely up to the user.
Withings is launching this scale available exclusively at Apple Stores and Withings.com for $180, with plan to make the Body Cardio scale available at other retailers by the end of the summer.
Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!
By Tammy Rogers