/// Weighing In on Wi-Fi Scales

December 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital


Over the past week, I’ve been posting my weight all over my social networks. It’s not a sick joke, and I haven’t been hacked, as some concerned friends suggested after seeing updates like “My weight: 124.3 lb. 5.9 lb to go” on Facebook and Twitter. The too-much-information blasts were part of my test of Withings WS-30 and the FitBit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale , two high-tech scales that measure your weight, body mass index (BMI) and, in some cases, body fat percentage. Digital scales have long offered these measurement categories — and often cost less than the scales I’ve been testing — but a growing trend is the ability to wirelessly share this health data to smartphones and your social networks, with apps that analyze the data for you. Some might cringe at the idea of sharing their weight, but for others the social sharing can be motivating, especially around the time of New Year’s resolutions. Whether consumers opt to publicly share the data or not, these scales can still save the time of manually logging your weight into a notebook, smartphone or computer. [ See post to watch video ] You might know FitBit for its tiny, clip-on activity trackers that measure your movement throughout the day, and also your sleep patterns. The FitBit Aria scale began shipping in the U.S. in April of this year, and costs $130. The WS-30, which launched in November, is the second scale made by France-based Withings; at $100, it costs $60 less than the company’s first scale. The two I tested looked nearly identical, with all-white bodies and gleaming surfaces. But the more costly FitBit Aria scale measures weight, body fat and BMI, an estimated calculation of your body fat based on weight and height, and the Withings WS-30 measures just weight and BMI. The Aria relies solely on your home Wi-Fi network, while the Withings WS-30 adds a twist with Bluetooth options. From left to right: The Withings WS-30 and the FitBit Aria Smart Scale. With both scales, interoperability with software and other hardware can get confusing. The Aria shares data to FitBit apps on the Web, iOS and Android devices, while the Withings won’t have full Android compatibility until sometime in January. Both Withings and FitBit say they work with dozens of other health and fitness apps, though sometimes they pull the data in and sometimes they share it

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Weighing In on Wi-Fi Scales


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