A Scale That Tweets
New meaning has been given to the words, “I hate my scale.”
Last week, the L.A. Times reported on the first bathroom scale equipped with a wireless connection to send your weight (and percent of body fat) directly to Twitter. Talk about airing dirty laundry in public - try telling the world wide web! I am trying to imagine who would want to use such a thing.
The WiFi Scale
For $160, the Withings WiFi Body Scale automatically monitors your weight, fat mass and lean mass, as well as your BMI, immediately and over time. (Fat mass is your stored fatty tissue and lean mass is all of your muscles, bones and organs.) The device offers weights in increments of 0.2 pounds. The maximum weight it supports is 396 pounds. The WiFi body scale recognizes up to eight separate users.
WiFi connectivity means that the scale will send your measurements to your computer and plot them in graphs on the secure Withings website. The dashboard makes it easy to see and compare your data over time and to zoom in on particular date ranges. The data is accessible from any web browser or from a free iPhone app supplied by Withings. You can configure your Twitter account for auto-posting on a per weigh-in, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
But, But, But...
Who would use such a thing?
The Twitter auto-posting function would be useful to pass along your information to anyone who has a need to know. For instance,
- A doctor needs to monitor daily weight fluctuations in medically unstable patients with heart failure to identify symptoms early thereby preventing hospital admissions. (Cha-ching!)
- Anyone participating in a weight loss challenge (especially remote) could report-in fair and square.
- A pregnant woman might want to post her weight changes to family and friends. Ditto for growing babies and kids and individuals undergoing nutritional rehabilitation.
- Anyone who wants accountability and support along the way to reaching a weight goal could benefit. (Perhaps the scale can also say, “At a boy!”)
But that is all I can think of for now because other reasons feel (to me) like an invasion of healthy boundaries or some egomaniacal quest for attention. But maybe I just don’t get the social networking thing. Furthermore, I don't trust body fat scales that use the Bioelectrical Impedance method because most people complain that they are inaccurate.
Would you Tweet your weight? Who has a need to know?
Full disclosure - Calorie Count is looking at this and other types of scales to see how we can incorporate wireless technology into our current tools.