Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WiThings Body Media Scale

It arrived almost 2 weeks ago, and so far, I LOVE it!  When anyone in the family steps on the scale, it takes your weight, body fat weight and heartrate. 

You can also purchase a similar device for blood pressure, which would be helpful for some to have everything in one place, but for us, this is not an issue at all.  I would be interested to see if WiThings eventually comes out with an integrated blood glucose monitoring system.  They do exist, but having the history stored in one place would be something I could easily justify purchasing for my husband.  Sometimes, you simply cannot escape genetics.  My husband is 6'3", under 200 pounds, pitches baseball (not softball) weekly and is on the elliptical several times a week, eats healthier than anyone I know...and yes, he is still diabetic.  It sucks.

Back to the WiThings scale...based on the most recent weight, your first three initials is indicated in the upper left corner of the scale.  This is the "account" that the stats will be transferred to.  So, lets say I was 120 pounds last week (sure, I'm dreaming) and I get onto the scale and I'm 115-125, its going to assume that the person on the scale is me.  Likewise, my daughter was 66.4 last week and if she steps on the scale, and she is around that same weight, its going to assume its her.  If its wrong or it simply can't identify a user (e.g. houseguest), the data is sent to the device as an "unknown user" so you can manually move it to the right classification.  Of course, this would be intrusive to know your houseguests' weight, albeit this would prove interesting and still be completely unintentional!

The data is transferred seamlessly to your iPhone app.  See below for the main screen.  Its quite easy to switch between users as well, but all of the users are available on the iPhone (except if you specifically hide a user).  This can be quite helpful if you want to keep your personal weight a mystery to your spouse...silly women we are, but it is what it is.

The first section scrolls to data on:
  • weight
  • fat mass
  • BMI
  • height
The second section scrolls to:
  • heart rate
  • blood pressure, if you utilize this additional device (both SYS and DIA are on their own graph)
The "air quality" section scrolls to historical graphs on:
  • temperature (min and max)
  • CO2 level (which basically tells you when you should open the windows and air out the house)

I love the fact that the house temperature is available.  True, we have the NEST, which I also love, but its a nice little extra to see the temperature in the other side of the house.  I may change the home temperature on the NEST for when we are away, but thats really from the main monitor near the A/C unit.  Since this is the bedroom, far away, it gives a better sense on how comfortable our dog is when the A/C is turned off.  So, I suppose the WiThings scale also helps me monitor my dog's safety :)

Now, the data is also provided in a web interface.  The standard view is seen below.  The auto log-out is quite quick though (maybe 5 minutes) so be expected to sign in again....while this could be annoying, I prefer that the data is not perused accidentally by others on the computer!

The left pane (not seen below) shows all of the family member accounts, so its easy to switch around from one user to the other.    While the data is pretty basic, it does a nice job of showing trends and seeing where you need to increase (eg muscle tone) and reduce (fat mass) to have an appropriate amount of body fat.

Of course, the more data points, the more interesting and relevant the data is.  I think whats also nice is that you tend to look at the trends, more so than just the current day's data.  If I was up 2 pounds over yesterday, of course, I would know its a blip and that it will eventually go down....because I see "the one step back and two steps forward" throughout the graph.  It simply doesn't make you worry or get irratable enough.  Most diets instruct you not to get on the scale more than once a week for this very reason.  With the WiThings scale, you just don't need to be scared of the scale!

All in all, I do like it.  Its simple to set up. The interface is well designed.  It syncs with my UP account and my MyFitnessPal account.  What more could I ask for?  I'm simply pleased.

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