No, we haven’t had too much coffee today. We are reviewing an Internet connected scale.
In fact, this clever scale will calculate who you are (between pre-assigned profiles), calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index – or how healthy you are in the eyes of a doctor) and fat mass – and then publish these measurements to a slick online interface that can be accessed on your Mac or iPhone.
The Scales are made up of a plastic base mounted onto a fairly weighty chassis. The part you actually stand is on is made of a highly shiny, glass slab. Don’t worry, this is a sturdy, chunky piece of glass. The scales sit in a pretty weighty 2.3KG (5.1 lbs) but have a very slim 0.9 inch profile. The glass on top gives it that super sleek, expensive look. The centre of the glass has a brushed circle of aluminum which must provide the fixing for the glass and looks very mac like.
The Withings looks good and is very thin!
On the leading of the edge scales you’ll note the high contrast blue and white, high contrast display. The screen is of reasonable size and contrast so that it can be read by even the most visually challenged 8 foot tall people.
The high contrast blue / white screen is highly readable even for those with poor eyesight!
We know you don’t need to have the whole concept of a traditional scale explained to you – you’ve probably got the whole step on, get your weight concept. This scale is slightly different however. Once you’ve stepped on, the scale comes to life (it appears to have a battery saving off / standby function so that it auto-turns on and off). The scale takes a moment or so to calculate your weight. Once it has a snapshot of your weight, it will upload the results to your Withings account (viewable online) Then, the scale will display your BMI. This works well and once you step off the screen will switch off ready for storage.
The battery compartment and USB connection. Nice to see some high quality batteries included as standard.
Withings include hard and soft surface legs with the scales. The scales already have legs that are suitable for hard surfaces such as tile floors attached. You’ll need to add the included carpet ‘feet’ for use on softer surfaces to ensure readings are accurate. These feet attach with a strong, 3M tape and shouldn’t fall off without a real fight – which is perfect because scales get some real abuse over the years.
The standard hard surface feet
One of the ‘carpet’ feet that sits over the existing pads with a 3M adhesive dot on the back.
Connectivity wise we’ve not had any issues. It took around 5 or so minutes to set-up the Withings for the first time. You’ll need to insert the included AAA batteries and follow the instructions (including signing up for a free account, but within moments you’ll be up and running. It’s very important that the scales need no complicated process in order to use – because that defeats the object of scales. Primarily they should weigh, and then offer up added functionality and this is something the Withings does well.
Accuracy wise the scales are excellent. We’re not sure how accurate (i.e. to the 5th point) but for weighing oneself on a day-to-day basis these scales are perfect.
The Control Panel
These will be the first scales you’ve ever owned with a control panel, let alone a full on GUI stats and graph suite. Get used to it! To connect to your scales and view your details, you simply visit the My Withings page. You can also download the accompanying iPhone app to view your stats on the go.
The interface is simple and easy to use. Signing in should keep your weight secure and private.
Withings will usually show you a handy tip to get the most out of the scales as you sign-in.
The Graph that is automatically created based on the results uploaded by the scales
You’ll need to enter a few details to get he most accurate BMI / Fat mass readings. We’ve blanked out our Editors details for security purposes.
Overall then, the online interface is great and easy to follow. It’s good to see that sometime has been spent here and it hasn’t been rushed in anyway, this is very much a stand-alone product.
These scales have been getting some pretty impressive press recently, including the likes of Leo Laporte! And rightly so, these scales are a sign of what is now possible – imagine in the future most of your household appliances could connect with your Mac in seconds for remote operation and similar. In the meantime these scales will put a little geeky smile on your face every time your scales upload your weight to a control panel. How James Bond! Great quality build finish and looks great! Definitely worth purchasing to replace your current bathroom scales, replacing them with the Ferrari of scales!
The only downside? Well, there’s the price. The scales weigh in (pun intended) around $170 from Amazon US or £122 plus P&P from the UK site. Still you get what you pay for! For more information visit the Withings.com site!