PDA

View Full Version : Withings' Smart Body Analyzer Launches, Measures Weight, Heart Rate and Air Quality




MacRumors
Mar 20, 2013, 12:38 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/20/withings-smart-body-analyzer-launches-measures-weight-heart-rate-and-air-quality/)


Withings debuted its Smart Body Analyzer (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/01/06/ces-2013-withings-debuts-new-smart-activity-tracker/) scale at CES 2013, and as of today, the scale is available for purchase.

Like its previous Wi-Fi Body Scale (http://www.withings.com/en/wirelessscale), Withings' Smart Body Analyzer tracks weight and body fat, but this updated version also monitors heart rate and environmental air quality.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/smartbodyanalyzer.jpg
Air quality detection might seem like a strange addition to a scale, but Withings says that the feature, which measures ambient temperature and carbon dioxide levels, is designed as a sleep and health aid.High levels of CO2 can produce a range of adverse health effects: deterioration of sleep quality, headaches, dizziness, restlessness, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, etc. By monitoring and managing indoor air quality, people can live and sleep in a healthier environment.The scale, which requires four AAA batteries to function, sends the information that it collects to Withings' cloud service, which works in conjunction with the company's Health Mate app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/withings-health-mate/id542701020?mt=8). The data can also be accessed by third party apps like RunKeeper (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/runkeeper-gps-track-running/id300235330?mt=8) and Fitbit (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fitbit/id462638897?mt=8).

Withings' Smart Body Analyzer is currently available from the Withings website (http://www.withings.com/en/bodyanalyzer) for $149.95.

Article Link: Withings' Smart Body Analyzer Launches, Measures Weight, Heart Rate and Air Quality (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/20/withings-smart-body-analyzer-launches-measures-weight-heart-rate-and-air-quality/)



PinoyAko
Mar 20, 2013, 12:42 PM
Safari seems snappier!!!!

Ooopsss wrong thread.

mscriv
Mar 20, 2013, 12:50 PM
This is pretty cool, but that's still a lot of money for a scale.

roland.g
Mar 20, 2013, 12:58 PM
My feet seem happier!!!!

That's what I was thinking.

needfx
Mar 20, 2013, 12:58 PM
unless it synchs & updates in hourly intervals seamlessly with my ever ongoing calorie intake diagrams, exercise program pie charts & slap me back to schedule whenever I feel like a snickers bar, I can't say I'm sold.

OldSchoolMacGuy
Mar 20, 2013, 01:00 PM
Almost pulled the trigger on one of these a couple times but it's a lot of money for mostly novelty. Measuring body fat in this way isn't all that accurate. Having it on your phone is nice but only takes a second or two to type it into your phone from a traditional scale and track it with one of the million apps out there. Additionally there are few apps that support it anyways so unless you're using one of them it's not all that useful.

Air quality measurement? OK. They do realize that there can be large differences between different rooms and floors within a house right? So you may know what your bathroom air quality is like but that doesn't say anything about the rooms you spend most of your time like the bedroom and living room or kitchen. Seems like a random add-on they threw in there because heart-rate alone wasn't enough of an upgrade after several years of no upgrades or updates.

These things have been around for more than 3 years and we haven't seen any increase in developers making use of them or integrating them into their own products. I wouldn't count on the simple addition of air quality and heart rate bringing developers running either. At this point, I'd stick with a simple digital scale for 1/2 the price.

Tafkas
Mar 20, 2013, 01:01 PM
This is pretty cool, but that's still a lot of money for a scale.
This is true when comparing it to a regular scale/bf monitor. But keep in mind you also get access to the whole withings platform. Right now I think it is the most supported bodyweight API out there.

ArtOfWarfare
Mar 20, 2013, 01:03 PM
At this point, I'd stick with a simple digital scale for 1/2 the price.

$75 stills seems really high for a scale. Try 1/3 - 1/7th of the price for a normal scale, depending on the quality.

Trik
Mar 20, 2013, 01:21 PM
I have the original Withings scale, and there is something to be said about being able to watch your weight / body fat in an app over time. The body fat analysis isn't super accurate, but it is precise. (or is that accurate but not precise), whatever it is, it measures the change fairly well. So while it may not be getting the right %, as I do lose body fat, it does measure that change is happening. Which is very helpful.

Also, I now just jump on the scale, wait 5 seconds, then jump in the shower. Don't have to write anything down, don't have to remember anything. I can show my doctor my weight for every day (that I am home) since Dec. 2011, which you must decide if it is worth it. It also works with others in the household, so a family of 4 can all do the same. This is well worth the cost IMO.

CGagnon
Mar 20, 2013, 01:37 PM
WiFi enabled scale? This make me want to hack it and always print weight+15 to mess with people.

Cuban Missles
Mar 20, 2013, 02:01 PM
I have no plans to place my weight and other Personal information on the cloud for others to hack and post. But it looks very sleek and cool. Now can we talk about when iOS 7 will be coming out and how it will totally wow us?

NomadicTy
Mar 20, 2013, 02:01 PM
Not sure why this needs to be sending info to the cloud. The app should be fine without this cloud crap. I guess as long as they can mind more personal data from people, the more they can "monetize" in the future.

Next thing you know, your health insurance company is raising your pemium because you gained 5 lbs...

Trik
Mar 20, 2013, 02:11 PM
Not sure why this needs to be sending info to the cloud. The app should be fine without this cloud crap. I guess as long as they can mind more personal data from people, the more they can "monetize" in the future.

Next thing you know, your health insurance company is raising your pemium because you gained 5 lbs...

Where would the data be stored if it wasn't in the "cloud"? If it was stored locally, you'd have to be at the scale to see it, if it was stored on your smartphone/device, they would have to be paired and you would have to have your device with you to weigh yourself. It takes your weight, attaches it to your account, and the app on your phone pulls it down from their servers.

jasondeno
Mar 20, 2013, 02:31 PM
Just note- these devices measure BMI, not body fat. I found out this distinction out after i purchased one of their scales.

Don't get me wrong, it still works great and is really convenient and integrated. But if you're using this device in hopes of seeing detailed changes in body fat, it won't do it. You'd need to supply that data from other sources yourself.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm#limitations

j

fruitpunch.ben
Mar 20, 2013, 02:36 PM
Just note- these devices measure BMI, not body fat. I found out this distinction out after i purchased one of their scales.

Don't get me wrong, it still works great and is really convenient and integrated. But if you're using this device in hopes of seeing detailed changes in body fat, it won't do it. You'd need to supply that data from other sources yourself.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm#limitations

j

Is it even possible for a scale to measure body fat? How could it possibly do that?

Trik
Mar 20, 2013, 02:44 PM
Just note- these devices measure BMI, not body fat. I found out this distinction out after i purchased one of their scales.

Don't get me wrong, it still works great and is really convenient and integrated. But if you're using this device in hopes of seeing detailed changes in body fat, it won't do it. You'd need to supply that data from other sources yourself.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm#limitations

j

That is simply not true, it works by measuring the impedance of electricity through your body. (in one foot and out the other) Body fat has a different impedance than muscle, and can be used to get a rough estimate.

http://withings.com/en/bodyanalyzer/specs

majordude
Mar 20, 2013, 02:55 PM
...also monitors blood pressure...

It measures HEART RATE not blood pressure.

NomadicTy
Mar 20, 2013, 03:29 PM
Where would the data be stored if it wasn't in the "cloud"? If it was stored locally, you'd have to be at the scale to see it, if it was stored on your smartphone/device, they would have to be paired and you would have to have your device with you to weigh yourself. It takes your weight, attaches it to your account, and the app on your phone pulls it down from their servers.


Maybe use Bluetooth? Kinda like those Nike thingamajigs for jogging. Not everything has to be sent to the cloud. Things worked just fine a few years ago.

JamesInLA
Mar 20, 2013, 03:48 PM
That is simply not true, it works by measuring the impedance of electricity through your body. (in one foot and out the other) Body fat has a different impedance than muscle, and can be used to get a rough estimate.

http://withings.com/en/bodyanalyzer/specs

Emphasis on "rough." BIA measurements are very sensitive to hydration, so you'll get a different answer in the morning than in the evening as your hydration levels change, etc.

It's more accurate than not measuring your body fat, I suppose, but shouldn't really be taken as "truth."

Trik
Mar 20, 2013, 04:16 PM
Emphasis on "rough." BIA measurements are very sensitive to hydration, so you'll get a different answer in the morning than in the evening as your hydration levels change, etc.

It's more accurate than not measuring your body fat, I suppose, but shouldn't really be taken as "truth."

I don't disagree, it is very rough. But the changes over time are reflected well, and it's a good way to make sure you're losing Body fat and not just muscle when you lose weight.

The other methods of measuring body fat are just not very practical on a daily basis... (skin fold caliper, Hydrostatic Weighing, that crazy scanning machine, etc)

Analog Kid
Mar 20, 2013, 04:20 PM
I agree with the anti-cloud sentiment. I thought this might be interesting before I realized it was going to be uploading to a remote site.

Where else would it store the information? If it can get to the cloud, it can get to my Mac and my phone. This isn't rocket science-- store and forward if the Mac isn't available. I've no problem with the cloud being an *option* but it shouldn't be required.

Not sure why this needs to be sending info to the cloud. The app should be fine without this cloud crap. I guess as long as they can mind more personal data from people, the more they can "monetize" in the future.

Next thing you know, your health insurance company is raising your pemium because you gained 5 lbs...

Where would the data be stored if it wasn't in the "cloud"? If it was stored locally, you'd have to be at the scale to see it, if it was stored on your smartphone/device, they would have to be paired and you would have to have your device with you to weigh yourself. It takes your weight, attaches it to your account, and the app on your phone pulls it down from their servers.

Tafkas
Mar 20, 2013, 04:34 PM
Emphasis on "rough." BIA measurements are very sensitive to hydration, so you'll get a different answer in the morning than in the evening as your hydration levels change, etc.
It's more accurate than not measuring your body fat, I suppose, but shouldn't really be taken as "truth."
That is true. I try to enforce same/similar conditions every time I step on the scale. In my case this means every morning after the bathroom and before breakfast. Also I do not look for a particular value but the trend of values. This should give at least a tendency of what the body composition is.

awair
Mar 20, 2013, 05:16 PM
Just note- these devices measure BMI, not body fat. I found out this distinction out after i purchased one of their scales.

Don't get me wrong, it still works great and is really convenient and integrated. But if you're using this device in hopes of seeing detailed changes in body fat, it won't do it. You'd need to supply that data from other sources yourself.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk.htm#limitations

j

The existing scales *display* BMI, but do not measure it. It is a calculation based on your measured weight & declared height (on their web/app interface).

The body fat measurement is useful for trend monitoring, but depends on body water content, so can vary by a couple of Kg throughout the day.

sulpfiction
Mar 20, 2013, 05:22 PM
The corner of my bathroom floor isnt exactly an accurate measurement of the air I breathe. Is it?

Deedlez
Mar 20, 2013, 06:42 PM
OK, I can see weight and BMI are useful. But air quality? That's a random addition! How about a seismograph or a stock price monitor?

Squilly
Mar 20, 2013, 07:45 PM
I wouldn't use it...

pev
Mar 21, 2013, 05:23 AM
Just note- these devices measure BMI, not body fat. I found out this distinction out after i purchased one of their scales.

That's incorrect. Withings make three different models of scale with different features : Two are scales with 'body composition' measurements (i.e. they measure body fat percentage) and one is a vanilla scale. You probably bought the cheaper one without! Go read the model list on their website... and yes, I know this because I own one and track daily.

----------

Emphasis on "rough." BIA measurements are very sensitive to hydration, so you'll get a different answer in the morning than in the evening as your hydration levels change, etc.

It's more accurate than not measuring your body fat, I suppose, but shouldn't really be taken as "truth."
I agree - however if you monitor daily, the variation can be overcome by statistical methods such as moving averages (as the withings app does). Also, I get great results on my 1st gen one by measuring every morning just after getting up. I don't drink water through the night so this leaves me in a relatively predictable state. Looking at my history this gives me around +/- 1% accuracy on readings which is perfectly fine but really works best if you combine with weight to give you a fat mass reading not percentage! The moving average lets me see trend changes in a week or two (using daily readings). Bear in mind that the same accuracy caveats is true with raw weight - the contents of your digestive system will easily add +/- 1Kg to weight so I see as pretty similar accuracies and similar strategies to mitigate.

If you use it armed with some knowledge and understanding it's a great tool.

jtara
Mar 21, 2013, 10:08 AM
I have both the Withings (not this latest one, though) and a Tanita. the Withings seems much less susceptabe to variation of the reading due to hydration. The Tanita will display rather wildly different values at different times of the day.

As others have pointed out, these scales DO measure body composition. They also calculate BMI, which you could do with a calculator, ho-hum.

They pass an AC signal through your body at different frequencies (I suspect they do a sweep) and measure the response. Fat and muscle alter the signal in different ways, and thus they are able to estimate body fat %.

Is it accurate? Who cares. It's a relative number. The whole point is to make the number change over time. A mirror will tell you the absolute number, LOL. I suggest standing sideways...

The Withings seems much more precise than the Tanita.

Blood pressure by steping on the scale would be a Big Deal. But, alas, it's just pulse rate, which you can record using your phone's camera. But of course it is more convenient to get it automatically when you step on the scale.

Withings does have a blood pressure monitor, but you have to plug it into your iOS device to transfer readings. Why on earth did they do that? The BPM should be WiFi as well.

pev
Mar 21, 2013, 10:16 AM
I have both the Withings (not this latest one, though) and a Tanita. the Withings seems much less susceptabe to variation of the reading due to hydration. The Tanita will display rather wildly different values at different times of the day.

Indeed. Interestingly it's all a bit relative - I used an Omron handheld monitor before the Withings scale and it would read consistently 5% lower than the Withings...! Back the the old discussion about Accuracy vs Precision.

Withings does have a blood pressure monitor, but you have to plug it into your iOS device to transfer readings. Why on earth did they do that? The BPM should be WiFi as well.
This always surprised me. Great idea poorly executed. Now withings seem to have got bluetooth technology in house (they use it on newer scales to set up directly from the phone) I'd hope to see a v2 of the BP monitor that utilises this...

phillipduran
Mar 21, 2013, 10:51 AM
Almost pulled the trigger on one of these a couple times but it's a lot of money for mostly novelty. Measuring body fat in this way isn't all that accurate. Having it on your phone is nice but only takes a second or two to type it into your phone from a traditional scale and track it with one of the million apps out there. Additionally there are few apps that support it anyways so unless you're using one of them it's not all that useful.

Air quality measurement? OK. They do realize that there can be large differences between different rooms and floors within a house right? So you may know what your bathroom air quality is like but that doesn't say anything about the rooms you spend most of your time like the bedroom and living room or kitchen. Seems like a random add-on they threw in there because heart-rate alone wasn't enough of an upgrade after several years of no upgrades or updates.

These things have been around for more than 3 years and we haven't seen any increase in developers making use of them or integrating them into their own products. I wouldn't count on the simple addition of air quality and heart rate bringing developers running either. At this point, I'd stick with a simple digital scale for 1/2 the price.

Also, the Co2 sensor readings at floor level might be much different than the Co2 levels at sleeping, sitting or standing level.

pev
Mar 21, 2013, 10:58 AM
Also, the Co2 sensor readings at floor level might be much different than the Co2 levels at sleeping, sitting or standing level.
If the passive ventilation in your bedroom is so bad that the air isn't moving around enough to stop (what are really very light and easy to mix) gasses pooling then you've got a much bigger problem to deal with!

theotherguy
Mar 21, 2013, 12:10 PM
i agree with all this. They dropped the price of the original to $129 i think. For what you get, and the ability to watch your body comp change over time and being able to spot negative rends fairly easily, it's well worth the cost. (i.e. cheaper than having to get a new wardroom because 15 lbs crept up on you without you really noticing)

I have the original Withings scale, and there is something to be said about being able to watch your weight / body fat in an app over time. The body fat analysis isn't super accurate, but it is precise. (or is that accurate but not precise), whatever it is, it measures the change fairly well. So while it may not be getting the right %, as I do lose body fat, it does measure that change is happening. Which is very helpful.

Also, I now just jump on the scale, wait 5 seconds, then jump in the shower. Don't have to write anything down, don't have to remember anything. I can show my doctor my weight for every day (that I am home) since Dec. 2011, which you must decide if it is worth it. It also works with others in the household, so a family of 4 can all do the same. This is well worth the cost IMO.

champ01
Sep 14, 2013, 07:09 AM
I'm thinking about buying one.

I've started preparing for P90X (its hard but so worth it)
I want an easy way to control my weight, heart etc. and not deal with writing stuff down all the time.

Is the WS-50 the best one on the market (in that price range of €150,-) or did another company create a better one?

haroldo
Jun 16, 2014, 02:26 PM
I just bought the scale, I'm very impressed...many of the bathroom scales I've tried register a different weight every time you step on it, this one ismuch more consistent.
Just one question...sometimes the scale registers the weight and then cycles through the statistics. Other times it just times out (after 30 seconds).
Is this normal?
Thanks!