What is a Smart Scale?

Track your weight, bone density, and more with a smart scale

Woman doing yoga using smart scale to track health.
getqardio.com 

A smart scale is one part of a complete fitness and health tracking system. Smart scales track multiple biometric measurements including bone density, water percentage, and body fat percentage to name a few.

What Can a Smart Scale Do?

A smart scale does much more than measure your weight. Your smart scale can integrate with an activity tracker like FitBit and a health tracking app to help create a more complete picture of your overall health. To get the most use and integration from your smart scale, be sure to choose one that has Wi-Fi connectivity to sync data to your other smart health devices without requiring the scale to be within range of those devices (as would be needed with Bluetooth connectivity). Let’s step through the features available for smart scales:

  • Track weight for each individual of the family separately in customizable logs using your smartphone.
  • Sync to other fitness smart devices such as a Fitbit or fitness coach app on your smartphone.
  • Record other biometric information such as body fat, water percentage, bone density, and even your resting heart rate through mild electrical impulses sent through your feet (also known as impedance analysis or impedance measurements).
  • Ability to disable or turn off impedance measurement functions for pregnant women or anyone with a pacemaker or other implanted medical device — these individuals should avoid the electrical impulses used in gathering impedance biometric information.
  • When synced with information gathered by your Fitbit or other fitness devices, create a more detailed picture of your health that can be shared with medical professionals and fitness advisors.
  • For fitness pros and serious athletes, some models can sync with fitness tracking and coaching apps to also include data such as training intensity, lactic acid threshold, and other advanced statistics and then provide specific fitness coaching suggestions to meet your fitness goals.
  • Create customized permissions to share weight loss data on social media or specific apps, which is helpful for fitness groups or even some lighthearted competition between friends and family members (you would have to specifically set permissions to allow this feature to work as smart scales are designed to protect your health information and require the user to enable sharing features).

Note: Features vary by brand and model. Our list includes features from multiple smart scale manufacturers.

Common Concerns About Smart Scales

Health information is some of the most sensitive and guarded data collected about us. Smart scales are designed with the sensitivity of this information in mind. Let’s weigh in on some of the common concerns people have about smart scales.

How much does a smart scale cost?

For Wi-Fi enabled smart scales, which are the most reliable in terms of connecting to your smartphone and other fitness devices, the prices typically range from $60 to just under $200.

Are smart scales dangerous?

Smart scales that measure biometric information using impedance analysis send mild electrical impulses through the feet. Any scale with impedance features or listed as an impedance scale should not be used by pregnant women or anyone with an implanted medical device such as a pacemaker. Many models allow the user to disable impedance measurement features but not all smart scales do. If you have an implanted medical device or are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant), thoroughly review any smart scale you’re considering to ensure you can disable those electrical impulses before purchasing. When in doubt, you should also have a conversation with your primary healthcare provider before purchasing a smart scale.

Can a hacker gain access to my weight and health information through my smart scale?

A Wi-Fi enabled smart scale accesses the home Wi-Fi network that your computers, other smart home devices, tablets, and smartphone also use. The best way to ensure the safety and security of any device that connects to your Wi-Fi is to follow best practices for securing your network, including complex passwords and allowing only secured connections.