This scale might be the only connected health gadget you need.
Connected health tech usually is all about strapping gadgets to your body in order to feed data to an app on 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. Using data to help keep yourself healthy is great, but sometimes the way we go about it is clumsy. The folks at Withings have released a new model in their line of highly successful connected scales that takes aim at some of these other connected health gadgets, making it so your bathroom scale is all you really need for a detailed look at how healthy you are.
We've been using one for a couple of days now, and here's how it works!
Withings Body Cardio is all about adding data to your body profile, using pulse wave velocity measurement on top of the existing sensors to help determine heart rate as well as body water percentage, muscle mass, and your body fat percentage. You step on the scale and get your weight immediately, but stick around for this extra information. If you're connected to a Withings step tracker you'll see that information on the small display as well as a glance at the weather as you reach the end of the readout. This additional information is fun for a data junkie to look at on the scale, but when that data is synced to the app it is used to offer a more complete picture of your personal health.
Data tracked over time, specifically your heart rate and total body water percentage, add to the "butterfly" Withings tries to create with your personal profile in their app. Withings claims the use of pulse wave velocity gives you a better sense of heart health, and tracking this daily gives you a way to see your resting heart rate decrease over time as you exercise. The company is also quite clear that their statement haven't been evaluated by the FDA, and that this scale shouldn't be used in the diagnosis of anything. Which is good, since our tests revealed some significant variance in heart rate measurement when climbing on the scale repeatedly and comparing the results to wrist and finger-based heart rate monitors.
Withings gets credit for once again releasing a nice-looking scale that is crammed with sensors for giving you a better sense of how more of your body is behaving from day to day. The scale itself looks nice, and Withings claims the battery on this scale will go for a whole year before needing to be recharged. These scales are the closest thing to a set-and-forget connected health appliance, and when used with the recommended software there's a lot of useful information about your body available. Whether that means you'll lose weight or be more active as a result 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.