Withings Body Scale

Hey All. I am considering purchasing the Withings Body Scale, but because of its somewhat large price tag I am a bit hesitant. I know I will get a lot out of the tracking capabilities, but want to do some extra research before I rush in to the purchase. Does anyone own the scale and have positive or negative recommendations/findings about it?
Thanks!

Hi Izzy!

I have found the scale to be a great tool. I am a bit biased because I received it as a gift, but I think that it has a lot of benefits. The largest is the ambient data collection. All you have to do is stand on it for a minute every day and you start automatically building a database of your weight and body fat*. Although I live alone, I think the really great feature is the ability to have multiple people using the same scale and ability of the scale to automatically differentiate and save data to the correct profile.

You can also do some really fun things with your data. You can share it to your social networking sites if you want. You can download csv files. There is also the ability to link it to EHRs like Health Vault and embed graphs on a blog or website.

What does everyone else think?

*Keep in mind that the withings measures body fat via bioelectrical impedance which isn’t super accurate.

I’ve had the scale for over a year now. It is not only a beautiful device, but I’ve also found it to be rock solid functionally.

Setup was easy, I’ve had no hardware problems, and I’ve gone through I believe one set of batteries in that year.

As far as online/application functionality all I really use is the google health integration. Now that Google is closing that service I’m expecting to see them do MS Health Vault integration instead. The mobile app is fine but I just never use it. The multi user stuff works better than you’d think, too. Strangers stand on it all the time, and my girlfriend uses it as well and it accurately splits our data out every time.

It was my first quantified self purchase and since then I’ve bought fitbit and a few other things with much more mixed results. I can’t recommend the WiThings scale enough.

Completely agreed! Its amazing how much more conscious you become of your health when you know that your PHONE is going to know your weight!

The technology is so sleek and user friendly that I never forget to stand on it when I wake up in the morning- it’s given me incentive to set goals and stick to habits that I would never bother to do otherwise.

Thanks for all of your feedback! I am definitely leaning towards buying it, I think I just need to sit on it for a few more days.

How do you correct for errors from hydration? Also, is it easy to get your data out?

I bought one and love it.

I like the scale, but I’m disappointed in the inaccuracy of the body fat (possibly due to hydration issues), so I’m still using my calipers once a week.

I’m also a Withings fan, and also dubious about the bodyfat measurement accuracy - but also it was good to meet the crew from www.bodytrace.com at the recent QS meetup at Ames - they have a less expensive solution that requires almost zero config (withings needs some work -how do you enter a wifi password with no keyboard…) and uses mobile data networking to post your weight - (FYI the data plan is included for the first year and its only $80)

BTW - I have no affiliation with them!

[quote]I’m also a Withings fan, and also dubious about the bodyfat measurement accuracy - but also it was good to meet the crew from http://www.bodytrace.com at the recent QS meetup at Ames - they have a less expensive solution that requires almost zero config (withings needs some work -how do you enter a wifi password with no keyboard…) and uses mobile data networking to post your weight - (FYI the data plan is included for the first year and its only $80)[/quote]If you are looking to use the product for a few years I don’t think that $80/year is cheap.

I decided against WiThings for three reasons:

  1. Their policy is to not let you own your own data. There is a hack to get your data out, but as a consumer, I voted with my wallet against their policy.

  2. Body Impedance Analysis can be improved if the current passed more of your body than just the legs. I bought an Omron full-body composition scale, which had a handle that you grab, so that the current passes through most of your body.

  3. Since I got fluctuations of as much as 3 pounds in one day (out of 155), I don’t obsess over measuring my body composition more often than once a week, so automatic uploads wouldn’t provide more value to me than full-body composition analysis does.

1 Like

I Recently purchased the Withings scale to replace my Tanita BC-1000.

I prefer Withings over Tanita because the Tanita required me to start up my PC & run a program whereas Withings simply lets me step on it and take a measurement.

Info and correction of some common misconceptions:

  • WiFi security on Withings is available and easily set up. I use WPA2-Personal AES encryption on my network and there have been no issues.
  • Data export AND import is provided on your Withings account page (CSV format)
  • Body Impedance Analysis (BIA) may not be on par with caliper, DEXA, or Hydrodensitometry, but it will provide you with decent relative information… if you are looking to track progress rather than absolute, I highly recommend any of the BIA devices.
  • I turned off the AutoCalibration by checking the ‘Force Zero at each Weighin’ - this ensures that the scale is always calibrated correctly (this is not based upon data, but rather a personal choice)
  • Weight fluctuates during the day, and Withings recommends that you do not weigh yourself:
    • “When you get up: weigh yourself as soon as you get up may yield mistaken measures. Indeed, during the night, the body tends to become dehydrated. In addition, your stretched-out position during the night changes the distribution of liquids in the body. It is therefore recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after getting up before weighing yourself.”*
    • “After Sports: a weighing after sports may lead to mistaken measures of the fat mass. In fact, dehydration due to sweating and the production of excess lactic acid momentarily change your physiology and “trick” the scale. It is therefore recommended that you wait at least 3 hours after physical activity before weighing yourself.”*

I hope this helps!

(FYI I don’t have any affiliation with Withings)

I am using the Withings Body Scale for a few month now and totally love it. Great combination of convenience, design and accuracy. Especially the data visualization on the iPhone or iPad is stunning. I wrote about it on my blog http://igrowdigital.com/2011/08/the-wonderful-world-of-“withing’s-wifi-scale”/

I love that Withings integrates their data with other devices and self-tracking services. Great review, Florian! Their devices are designed so beautifully. [hr]
Dan -

Have you contacted Withings to ask if you can own your data? I refuse to integrate self-trackers into TrackIgnite if they won’t let users own their data. I really want to integrate Withings and I’ve sent an email requesting data ownership. If more of us demand our data - as you did with your wallet - companies will have no choice but to concede.

Bridget

I know Izzy’s post was written a l-o-n-g time ago, but I came across it when looking for stuff that people have said about the WiThings scale, which I’ve just bought.

What made me smile was the idea of Izzy ‘sitting on it for a few more days’.

Surely, just step on and step off again? :wink:

Does anyone know if this can be relatively easily used with say 100 users?

I know it says up to 8 - wondering if it’s easy to sync up a myfitnesspal account to a weigh-in so if there was a group of 30 people weighing in that it could be done relatively swiftly?

Thanks, for the link, so it appears Withings grab, and fire off to the cloud, both an electrical Resistance and Reactance number. Wondering if I can grab those and plug them in to a few of the alternative published formula eg.

Bioelectrical impedance equations reported in the literature since 1990 for fat-free mass (FFM) classified according to individual category (adults, elderly, overweight) and standard error of the estimate (SEE)

  • Hydration - to be consistent between reading, follow the standard guidelines of only weighing yourself on waking and after a 8+ hour fast.
  • Getting your data out - The Withings Web portal allows you to export you, height, weight, standing heart rate, and an estimated Body fat percentage or weight. They’ve changed their protocol since the hack linked here, so you no longer have the ability to access your measured resistance values, to allow you to perform your own estimate.