If there’s one area in our lives where technology should bring great improvements it’s health. And thankfully, it is. These days we’ve got fitness trackers and smartwatches, tech-infused sleep aids, health and fitness apps galore and, da da da… smart scales.
I definitely do wear my Apple Watch regularly — and it certainly does a great job keeping track of things like steps and my heart rate — but of all the health gadgets out there I value my smart scale most of all. I’ve been using a Withings smart scale for a couple of years now and the data that it has measured for me has been invaluable.
Why? Trends. It’s one thing to see if you’re up or down a pound or two from day to day, but it’s an entirely different ballgame when you can analyze your weight — and other metrics — over the course of a year or two. Those are the numbers that really matter as they show how well you are sticking to your fitness routines and diet (healthy or otherwise). I find this long-term data incredibly motivating.
As you may know by now, there are several smart scales on the market from which to choose from. Some from company’s you may have heard of and others from cheap knockoff brands. Most of them all measure the same basic information: weight, BMI (body mass index), lean mass, body fat percentage… you get the point. So what really sets them apart?
Several important things. One obvious thing is looks — this is an object you’re going to be seeing a lot of. But you can’t go by looks alone, as they can be very deceiving in this product category. The QardioBase, for instance, looks more sleek and sophisticated than almost any other smart scale I’ve ever seen — but it gets horrible reviews.
But more importantly, the ecosystem within which the smart scale you purchase lives is incredibly important — and there are several to choose from. Every company in the space these days seems to have their own platform for tracking your fitness and/or health info. Fitbit, Withings, UnderArmour, Nike, Apple… the list goes on. Some are more useful than others — and the apps that accompany them (where you interface with your data) can really make or break the experience (so it’s worth paying attention to the screenshots to see ...