Although the phrase “home automation” has been around for over a decade, its meaning is still unclear for many who tend to think of it only in terms of large-scale green home projects, or whole-house entertainment systems and the like. What most folks don’t realize is that a quiet revolution has been taking place as designers and manufacturers have begun connecting ordinary household objects from thermostats to refrigerators, to bathroom scales to the home wifi network, and more importantly, have been taking the power of the PC, Smartphone, and tablet, and turning these classic consumer products into dynamos of information and assistance.
One such object is the bathroom scale. It wasn’t so long ago that most of us (meaning us middle-agers) can still remember when the bathroom scale was a creaking mechanical beast with a difficult-to-read weight chart and a little thumbwheel underneath for zeroing it. Then sometime in the mid-eighties (mid nineties? it’s all such a jumble to this old geek), the bathroom scale went digital and, provided the batteries didn’t go dead, became self-zeroing and gave you a nice bright readout, easily visible from 4-6 feet away without having to stoop or squint. And so it was until recently when a company called Withings introduced the wifi-connected bathroom scale.
Okay, so if you’re anything like me you might be thinking: Why do I need my scale to be wifi connected? So I can weigh myself in the bathroom then run to my computer to see how much I weigh? How is this progress? Oh wait, I see, I can see my weight on my smart phone or tablet? Does the scale take into account the added weight of my Android or iPad? Maybe that’s the kind of thinking that has me blogging about other people’s inventions instead of being the inventor myself…
Well so let’s talk about someone else’s invention for a minute shall we? Because the Withings Body scale is so much more than my simplistic imaginings would have lead to. You see, the real value of having a wifi scale isn’t the scale itself. Although it is a sleek marvel of high-tech design, the real wow-factor in this product is the app behind the mechanism. You know what I mean when I say app right? That little program that’s designed for your smart phone, tablet, or PC. The brains behind the scale that does so much more than just tell you what you weigh today.
The Withings scale is complimented by apps for all major platforms, and provides sophisticated tools that show you your weight, Body Mass Index, and a bunch of other cool measurements in a graphical layout featuring performance over time and ties into weight management and fitness program goals that not only provide valuable data, milestones, and achievements to you, but can also be shared instantly with your doctor or your coach. Of course, if you just want to know your weight, it will tell you that too, but when it comes to home automation, it’s companies like Withings that are reshaping the future of interconnected devices.
for more info, check out Withings on the web at www.withings.com
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This article was written by Andy Trask, Head Geek at Geek Housecalls, the New England area’s original traveling computer geeks, on the web at www.geekhousecalls.com. Geek Housecalls specializes in “anything computer” and, since 2001, has become the trusted in-home computer and technology support provider for over 15,000 families and small business computer users in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern New Hampshire. For help with your computers, gadgets, or network at home or at the office, click here to contact Geek Housecalls via the web, or call toll free: