Withings, soon to be part of Nokia, always finds a good reason to give us a new connected scale. Body Cardio is their fourth since 2009, using new sensors and a metric called pulse wave velocity to give users a better picture of their heart health, in addition to helping people to stay on top of weight and body composition.
As usual, Withings’ new scale works with their Health Mate app to log data taken from your weigh-in. Besides pounds, their scales record BMI based on weight and height. New in the Body Cardio scale is a more detailed breakdown of body composition. The scale uses a method called bioelectrical impedance analysis to work out the body’s water mass, then calculates fat, muscle, and bone mass based on that information. But, the biggest new feature has to be pulse wave velocity monitoring, a heart health feature that goes beyond measuring heart rate (although the scale can do that, too).
Pulse wave velocity determines the health of arteries by sensing how quickly waves travel throughout arteries when they’re hit by the pressure of blood flow. Using that metric and your age, the scale can work out whether or not you’re at risk of high blood pressure or other heart diseases. Granted, there’s been enough stories about health tech that’s fallen well short of being reliable, so we’re unsure how much we should expect from Body Cardio. Weight and body composition are useful because baselines can be set and progress can be measured, whether the measurements are 100 percent accurate or not, but we’re still iffy on health tech when it comes to identifying health risks. The feature is probably best used along with a doctor’s advice, but we’re pretty sure Withings would suggest the same.
As usual with Withings, the Body Cardio will be best used alongside their fitness trackers, continuous heart rate monitors, and diligent meal tracking. All of the above goes into their Health Mate app, which synthesizes all that information and offers fitness recommendations for diet and exercise. Like always, the more data you have to work with, the more useful and accurate those recommendations are going to be.
While bathroom scales don’t necessarily need to be stylish, Withings has gone that extra mile. The Body Cardio scale is made from aluminum and is 0.7″ thick, so it won’t take up much room and will be easy to stash away temporarily if need be. The top layer that bears your weight is made from heat-tempered glass, so it should be comfortable and durable.
The Withings Body Cardio connected scale is available now at Apple stores and online at withings.com for $180. It’ll come to other retailers on July 7.