Every Monday, the folks who manage our HealthVault partner relationships have a meeting called "What's Going On?" where they talk about the applications and devices that have "gone live" in the last week, issues that partners are facing we need to be aware of, that kind of thing. This week they asked me to come by and demo my Withings WiFi-connected scale, which is now LIVE on HealthVault --- woo hoo!
People were laughing at me because I got so excited about it --- but it is a truly exceptional product, a beautiful piece of hardware, and I am thrilled it is now part of the HealthVault family.
Why such a big deal? Because Withings has really thought through what usability for a scale means - where it fits into daily life -- and delivered from start to finish an experience that just works. It's a huge step forward.
First of all, it's just a great looking product that even my wife is happy to have sitting in the bathroom. When you open the box, the scale has a cling sticker on it that simply says http://start.withings.com/. Visiting the site starts a configuration application so you can configure the scale with your home WiFi information and set up initial users - the scale can manage up to nine different people.
From there the device never needs to see a PC again. It lives in your bathroom --- where you want it, not next to a computer in your office somewhere. Step on the scale and it turns itself on and auto-detects which user is standing on it by matching the current weight to the best-matching historical weight it's seen. But wait, there's more --- if the scale can't be sure which person is using it, the built-in LCD screen shows a choice and you simply lean in the direction of the correct one. Just fantastic --- I am blown away.
Step off the scale and your weight, fat mass and BMI are transparently sent to Withings' Internet servers and tucked away in your account. If you'd like to use your readings with HealthVault (or any of a number of other services), just visit http://my.withings.com/ and use the "Share" menu item to link a user with a HealthVault record. From that point on every reading is immediately available to any HV application or HV user you'd like to share with.
Anyways --- in case it's not obvious, I could not be more enthusiastic. The scale is available for purchase from their site for $159US --- to celebrate our new connectivity, Withings is offering a free shipping promotion ($9 value) if your order by clicking through this link. What are you waiting for?
Cédric and team --- great job.
PS - Yes, I know we weren't first with this one. But hey, we had to give the good folks from Mountain View something to talk about at HIMSS this year! 🙂 Sorry, couldn't resist --- of course it makes great sense for Withings to connect anywhere that there are users, they have been super-smart this way. That's the way this consumer empowerment thing works, folks!