There is no shortage of smart scales on the market today. Some companies are even on their second or third generation devices. Step on one of these, and your weight data will find its way to a corresponding app on your mobile device or a Web dashboard. Using the app or dashboard, you can then track your progress over time.
Most of these scales go far beyond just displaying your weight. Many also show your body mass index, body fat percentage, water percentage, muscle mass and bone mass. The recent Nokia Body Cardio, for example, even shows your Pulse Wave Velocity and throws in the daily weather forecast for good measure!
Essential reading: Roundup of the best smart scales on the market
However, when it comes to measuring these more advanced metrics, the accuracy should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, to measure body fat scales send a low electrical current through one foot and read the current with a sensor under the other foot. The current passes through fat more slowly and the scale calculates the amount of resistance to come up with a body fat percentage. While this procedure produces a fairly good estimate, the readings can be inconsistent and inaccurate at times.
Step in ShapeScale. The gadget, which looks like something out of a Star Trek movie, takes monitoring your body fitness to a whole new level.
You simply step on one of these and the scale will scan you in photorealistic 3D to give you a visual overview of your body shape. It does this via a robotic arm which rotates around you. This allows the scale to scan your entire body with an array of sensors including a IR 3D sensor, a 5 megapixel RGB camera and a coded light projector. All this takes less than 1 minute.
The base unit measures your weight, while the sensor head takes hundreds of pictures and captures millions of 3D data points to generate your virtual avatar. The app will show you localized information allowing you to target and track specific areas of your body. In addition to the body weight you’ll get body girth measurements, overall and localised body fat, overall and localised lean mass and shape index.
With ‘3D Heatmaps’ and ‘Difference View’, you’ll be able to see your present and past self from any angle. Just choose two dates to see how your body shape has changed over time.
The base of the scale is 120cm in diameter and weights 5 kilograms. The extension rod is 78cm in length and 145cm in height. But when not in use, all this neatly folds away to just 35.6cm x 7.3cm.
Battery life is pretty good as well. The built-in lithium battery will keep it going for about 50 scans. Recharging takes about 4 hours.
Perhaps all this sounds too good to be true, and maybe it is. But if it really ends up working as advertised, the only negative will be the price – the scale will retail for a hefty $599! Which means you might be better off waiting for your local gym to get one.
The company has started taking pre-orders on its website for a launch in April 2018. While you are waiting, and perhaps saving up, check out the video below.
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