Technology: Has it gone too far?
I was very excited to test out the BodySense, a smart scale made by Anker's smart device sub-brand Eufy that they sent us in December. If you've ever been to a fancy gym, you may have stepped on a kind of scale that tells you detailed information about the composition of your body. By sending little electrical currents through the soles of your feet, these scales can relay to you not only your weight, but more detailed information about your bone density, body fat percentage, muscle composition and related metrics. By tracking these metrics, these scales can help you accomplish specific goals such as building muscle or shedding body fat.
This technology is now available at home. The BodySense is a scale that tracks twelve different body composition metrics, and then sends that information to your smartphone via Eufy's EufyLife app. Setting it up takes about three minutes of app downloading, account building and bluetooth connecting—all of which are painless. Once you install the batteries that come with the scale, you are ready to hop on and start measuring.
I said "was very excited" because finding out exactly how shitty my body was two weeks ago caused me to exclaim "What the fuck?!" at the top of my voice.
As you can see from EufyLife's clean, easy to read interface, on I'm really out of shape. With a tap of the finger, EufyLife will let you open up those stat lines to tell you where your metrics fall, measured against your height. As you can see, not only am I overweight, I also have the muscle mass of a six year old. It turns out that going on a two week long vacation where I drank about a bottle of wine a day and ate nothing but pastries wasn't good for the body. Who would've thought?
With an exterior built out of frosted white (or black) glass, the BodySense itself looks like a slightly futuristic (think Apple Store chic) but nonetheless normal bathroom scale. After stepping on it for a few moments, it's display will tell you only your bodyweight, and it will send those more advanced metrics to your phone if it is within bluetooth range. If not, it will simply function as a normal scale.
At $45 retail—Eufy sells the scale through Amazon and it often goes on sale—the BodySense is among the cheapest smart scales, with high end competitors from other healthtech leaders Fitbit and Garmin retailing well past $100. I've had only one issue with it, which is that the scale is very sensitive to how even the floor underneath it is. As you can see in the screenshot below, I measured my weight several times in a row on January 30, moving the scale around my apartment as I did so. On different surfaces, I was recorded at slightly different body weights. This isn't really a problem, as the fluctuations were small and the body weighs differently throughout the day, but it does mean that the BodySense isn't perfectly accuate. It also means that if you want the most accurate readings, you should do so in the same place every time.
If you're looking for a way to track specific health goals at home, the BodySense is a comparatively inexpensive way to do so. It's worth mentioning that the EufyLife app is impressively clean and intuitive to use, with no ads or extraneous features built in, letting you check your progress and history with ease. I'll be keeping it around for the foreseeable future, and hopefully I can get my muscle mass into the "normal" range by the end of February.
(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)