Every year, we are getting closer to having all our devices in our house inter-connected and the new Etekcity Smart Fitness Scale is proof that “the smartening” of our homes is almost complete. A smart thermostat is a necessity, a smart plug is a commodity and even a smart air conditioner makes a lot of sense, but is a smart scale necessary for our well being?
You’d be surprised, but it should have a place in every smart home and the reason is because while you may weigh yourself once in a while and then try to keep up a certain diet, a well designed smart scale can keep track of all the changes that happen over a larger period of time, showing various statistics besides the weight, such as the BMI, the bone and muscle mass, the metabolic age and the subcutaneous and visceral fat.
The Etekcity Smart Fitness Scale can offer al these stats and more, so, if you work out or follow a specific diet, it is easier to keep track of your progress (the app can also sync with Fitbit and Google Fit devices). But, is it alright to weigh yourself every day? It’s obvious that you won’t see any significant progress from one day to the other and, especially the fitness beginners can quickly become obsessed with every little weight change (even if those small fluctuations are usually just water retention), so a biweekly or even weekly check on your weight is probably the best approach (regardless of period of time, the app will still accurately keep a record of your progress).
The device doesn’t differentiate itself from the other non-smart scales available on the market in terms of design, featuring the commonly found ITO conductive glass platform (the surface where you sit with your legs), but it does have a couple of metallic areas towards the left and right side which are used to detect the other metrics besides the weight (it is important to climb on the scale with your bare feet, otherwise the scale won’t be able to send the additional type of info).
If you’re wondering how is the smart scale able to detect such metrics, well, it uses the bioelectrical impedance analysis technology which simply sends a low, non-dangerous electrical current through your body and it measures the flow speed which can be slower through fat and faster through muscle and water. This also means that heavy water consumption before measuring the weight can influence the results (as well as dehydration) and the Etekcity is not the most suitable for a one-time measurement, but will be fairly accurate over longer periods of time.
Note: It is important to know that people that have a pacemaker should not use this scale and women that are pregnant should first consult with their doctor before using it.
On the top surface, the Etekcity smart scale features a small display that will show the weight of the person (you can switch between lbs, st and kg using the app or the Unit button located on the bottom of the device) and, in case the scale has been moved, it will recalibrate showing a C on the display and 0.0 when complete. Furthermore, if the batteries are low, the display will show Lo and, in case the person trying to use the scale is heavier than the permitted maximum (400 lbs or 180kg), then the display will show Err. What I did like about the Etekcity is its size, being larger than the regular scale (it measures 11.8 x 11.8 x 1.0 inches), but the bottom section doesn’t feel like it’s made of premium materials. Sure, the four feet are well built and have the proper amount of movement for detecting the weight, but the rest of the plastic surface feels a bit squeaky.
While there are an abundance of new smart devices released on a daily basis, the truth remains that a smart device is as good as its app integration. The Etekcity Smart Fitness Scale will work with the VeSync app which is developed especially for the Etekcity products and the installation and configuration process is very simple: download and install the app on your mobile device (iOS or Android OS), create a new account (or log into an existing one – it doesn’t require a phone number), verify the email address and you immediately gain access to the main user interface. Here, under Devices, you can add your first device by pressing the plus sign and then choose Scales from the list.
This will summon another list with different types of scales, from which you need to choose the Etekcity Fitness Scale. Afterwards, the app will request that you step on the fitness scale (it will also require the access to the device location?) and the Pairing should be successful (it will be done via Bluetooth). On the next step, you’ll have to create a profile, which includes your gender, height and age (you can add up to 8 different profiles, so more than one person can keep track of their weight).
After you weigh yourself the first time (bare feet), you will immediately notice that the app receives the numbers and, on the main page, you’ll be able to see your current weight, the progress from the last time you measured your weight (along with the time), the profile and underneath it, there’s a small graph which shows you your progress from one day to the other; here, you can also go to the Data Graphs which shows you a bigger graph with the progress after one day, week or month for both your weight and your body fat. Returning to the main page, further to the bottom of the page, there’s a table which displays all the collected data from the scale: Weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), Body Fat, Fat-free Body Weight, Subcutaneous Fat (the fat under your skin), Visceral Fat (the fat that surrounds your internal organs), Body Water (the amount of fluid in your body), Bone Mass (the percentage of bone minerals when compared to the total body weight), Muscle Mass, Protein, BMR (the amount of calories burnt everyday while your body is at rest) and Metabolic Age.
Pressing on the top right corner (on the cogwheel) will take you to the Device Settings where you can change the name of the device, the icon, the weight unit (st, lb or kg), the members (all the profiles that have been added) and you gain the possibility to Connect the app to Fitbit or Google Fit (if you have an iOS device, it will Connect with Apple Health as well). Lastly, let’s talk about any possible security risks. When compared to the WiFi connection, especially regarding the IoT field, Bluetooth is relatively safer and, to ensure that no type of attack can happen (Man in the Middle or other), then, it is simply advisable to turn off Bluetooth on your mobile device when not using it. As for the app, similarly to any other smart device, try to keep it as limited as possible (remove any unnecessary permissions).
Note: Inside the package, Etekcity has also added a measurement tape.
The smart home market has flourished these past couple of years and more and more devices are released to the general public in an effort to improve the general well-being of the users. The premise of the Etekcity Smart Fitness Scale is to help users keep track of their fitness progress and to make them more aware of their achievements, offering a lot more information than the traditional electric scale and it does rise up to the expectations especially because of its integration with the app. It’s obviously has its flaws, but if tracking your weight-loss progress is your goal, then the Etekcity Smart Fitness Scale is a good solution.