Posts Tagged ‘Withings’
At CES 2014, Withings was showing off the latest product in its lineup of home health tracking connected gadgets, the Aura. The Aura looks vaguely like a submarine’s periscope, but it lives on your nightstand, connects to a sensor pad that goes under your mattress, and provides super sophisticated sleep tracking along with intelligent wake up and sleep sequences to give you your best possible rest.
The Aura is a wake-up like, not unlike other products on the market from companies including Philips, but it uses light combined with sound to help trigger melatonin release, which the company says happens via scientifically sound processes. These are triggered variously to relax you at night, or wake you up in the morning, using different tones from the LED light in the nightstand component, which also doubles as an alarm clock and speaker.
The Aura connects to a pad of sensors via cable, providing power and collecting data from said attachment. This pad picks up “micromovements” according to Withings, which are far more subtle than the kind of tossing and turning detectable by most wrist- and pocket-borne activity trackers, including Withings’ own Pulse. The sensor can detect small movements from under a pillow-top or even a tempurpedic mattress (which are designed to minimize the effect of movement), and up to two can be used to monitor sleep patterns for two people in the same bed. It can detect not only movements, but also breathing cycles and heart rate to arrive at much more sophisticated conclusions about that nature and quality of your sleep. Using this data, it can help the Aura alarm unit start to wake you up more gently when it makes sense, rather than abruptly right at a specific time.
These can be used in combination with Withings’ existing suite of health products to provide a more complete picture through their smartphone app, the company says. It’s aiming to ship the Aura starting in spring, 2014 and the whole kit, including one sensor pad and one nightstand alarm/light will cost $ 299. That’s steep compared to the Philips wake-up light at $ 99, but Withings is essentially the first to combine that product with highly sophisticated sleep tracking. Still, you have to be very committed to the self-monitored health movement to make that leap, I’d imagine.
Withings has a scale, a blood pressure monitor, and an activity bracelet — now it’s trying to help us all get a little shut-eye between all that activity. This week at CES it announced the Aura, a $ 299 device designed to help you fall asleep faster, sleep better, and wake up easier. It comes in two parts, one a small pad that goes underneath your pillow to monitor you while you sleep, and one a light that sits on your bedside table. The pad senses your heart rate, movements, and breathing, while the light also scans your room for noise, light, and temperature in your room.
Like plenty of other devices, the Aura collects and shares data with your smartphone, showing you how you slept and what helped or hindered you through the night….
This week on gdgt: Withings’ Pulse tracker, Apple’s new Airport Extreme and IKEA’s interactive catalog
Each week, our friends at gdgt go through the latest gadgets and score them to help you decide which ones to buy. Here are some of their most recent picks. Want more? Visit gdgt anytime to catch up on the latest, and subscribe to gdgt’s newsletter to get a weekly roundup in your inbox.
The Withings Pulse is the latest device in the personal activity tracker category, and it isn’t a wristband, which runs counter to the latest fad. Instead, it’s a portable rectangle not unlike the original Fitbit devices designed to be carried in a pocket or attached to clothing via an included clip. The Pulse fills out Withings’ line of home health monitoring gadgets, pairing up with its smart scales to deliver info about steps walked, calories burned, altitude traversed and heart rate.
- 128×32 OLED touchscreen
- 43mm x 22mm x 8mm
- Heart rate sensor built-in
- Micro-USB charging
- MSRP: $ 99.95
- Product info page
The Pulse is a small package, but as per the old adage, it’s a good thing. It’s not tiny enough that it’s hard to find in your pocket, and yet it’s thin enough that it doesn’t add a bunch of bulk. The rubberized finish means you won’t lose it, and the way the OLED display is invisible when inactive is very cool. It’s got a single button, and touchscreen functionality to let you swipe through previous day totals, and it all works quite well.
The actual pulse tracker on the back of the device is the one break in the smooth exterior (barring the micro-USB port) and that aspect of the Pulse is highly functional, so the fact that it mars the unbroken surface is forgivable. I like that Withings has opted for an external clip that can be removed instead of building one in, as I’d much rather have just thrown the thing in a pocket. And the micro-USB is great, since it means you don’t have to use a specialized cable to charge the Pulse, as you often do with wristbands.
The Pulse has a step counter, calorie counter, altitude meter and distance travelled tracker. All of that is pretty standard among these devices, and about as accurate as you’ll find elsewhere (which is to say not very), but the Pulse also has a pulse sensor and a time/battery indicator, as well as a sleep mode that works in tandem with an included wristband accessory. The wristband is a soft material that’s perfect for sleeping, too, and far more comfortable than the Jawbone UP or the Fitbit Flex.
I’m addicted to the pulse sensor aspect of the device, and in tandem with the Withings Smart Body Analzyer, it really helps paint a more full picture of your overall personal health. The Pulse offers the best value for money of any fitness tracking device I’ve tried so far, and that’s saying a lot.
The Bottom Line
The Withings Pulse is probably the best available option in fitness trackers, but that might depend on how you want to wear one. For wristbands, I’d still go with the Fitbit Flex, but the Pulse is my overall pick. It seems like companies operating in this space are doing a very good job of watching their competitors, gauging the needs of their users and iterating based on that information to improve things overall.
Withings just closed a big round last week, and that’s helping them grow internationally. The Pulse is a key tool in the arsenal the company has to help fuel its growth, and it’s a solid ambassador for the company’s line of devices.
Health gadget company Withings will announce in a few minutes a new funding round from Bpifrance, Idinvest Partners, 360 Capital Partners and existing investor Ventech. Out of the $ 30 million, $ 15 million comes from Bpifrance, the newly created public entity — BPI means Public Investment Bank in French. It is one of its first traditional VC deal.
Withings is perhaps best known for its series of smart scales and body analyzers (along with curious one-off devices like a baby monitor), but the company has recently decided to take a stab at creating yet another sort of fitness gadget: a wearable activity tracker. Calling that particular market crowded is putting it awfully mildly. Devices from the likes of Nike, Jawbone, and Fitbit have put an approachable face on the quantified self movement and have garnered plenty of attention from press and health-conscious consumers.
That’s not to say that Withings’ own fitness tracker, the Pulse, is entering the fight unarmed — it’s capable of measuring its user’s heart rate with a single touch in addition to tracking steps taken and hours slept. The Pulse’s big value though is that it provides even more data for existing Withings device owners to tap into, which helps users piece together a more fully-realized image of their health. That street runs both ways too — the $ 99 Pulse may wind up acting as a sort of Trojan Horse to introduce its users to the rest of Withings’ health-centric gadgets.
While Withings prepares to face off against some highly popular rivals, it plans to use that fresh infusion of capital to strengthen its foundation. In addition to expanding to new markets, and fleshing out its R&D efforts with new hires, Withings hopes to improve its retail distribution deals to more prominently show off its health-conscious wares to consumers. The Paris-based company was founded in 2008 and previously raised $ 3.85 million (€3 million) in 2010.
When it comes to the investment, the most surprising part is that Bpifrance is leading the round. Bpifrance is the new venture with teams from OSEO, CDC Entreprises, and the FSI (France’s sovereign wealth fund). In its past iterations, it has invested in France’s biggest startups, such as Dailymotion, or even well-established companies, such as Orange.
Many startup enthusiasts thought that the public institutions weren’t supporting France’s startup economy by putting money into those companies. Dailymotion was already a “success” when the FSI invested. Withings may indicate a new trend at Bpifrance. The institution could make many smaller and riskier deals to support startups at an early stage.
And the battle to build quantified self gadgets rages on. The newest entrant is one that isn’t exactly new to the space — Withings has been churning out smart scales and body analyzers since 2009, but it recently decided to set it sights on Fitbit and Jawbone with a new, $ 99 wearable fitness tracker called the Pulse.
The particulars should sound familiar: the Pulse is a tiny (it weighs in at 8 grams) thing with a touch-sensitive OLED display that’s worn on your person and measures the steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burned, and how long you’ve slept. Oh, and to top it off, you can press your finger to the Pulse’s rear end to figure out your heart rate. Neat trick.
Familiar though that formula may be, Withings brings something rather neat to the table though: a hardware ecosystem (if a small one). The company’s background in smart scales means it’s capable of adding some crucial context to the activity data the Pulse is able to collect — a more accurate picture of a person’s fitness level and the effect it actually has on the body. Media darling Fitbit has so far struck to a similar strategy, albeit one that ran in reverse — the company spent years honing its Fitbit wearables before releasing the Aria scale in 2012.
That said, Withings is no stranger to cooperation with other quantified self players either. Companies like Fitbit and Jawbone have made it a point to partner with Withings so they can incorporate weight data into users’ accounts. It’s a natural fit considering that a person’s weight represents a crucial bit of information that those company’s respective gadgets can’t really figure out on their own.
Honestly though, for a company that’s been nothing if not eager to add value to other wearable gadgets, it’s a little strange to see Withings take a shot at the market themselves. These days it seems like nearly every fitness-focused company is trying reinvent to the pedometer, but it takes some serious expertise to turn a pint-sized selection of sensors and components into a product worth using. The development process may have been a bumpy one too — Withings first showed off that activity tracker (encased in Plexiglass no less) back in Las Vegas at CES 2013, and here we are about five months later with only the option to pre-order the thing.
For all the question marks that come with the Pulse, Withings may actually be onto something here. If the company can nail the experience of aggregating data across its hardware lineup and feeding it all into its accompanying app (not to mention the 100 or so partner apps floating around out there), Withings may just be able to pull ahead of a sizable pack.
Back at CES, Withings revealed its Smart Activity Tracker, a competitor to the many wearable fitness-tracking devices on the market like the Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, and Jawbone Up. It was supposed to launch by the end of March, but the company has just now started taking pre-orders for the device. The newly-named Withings Pulse is now on sale for $ 99.95, and the company says it should ship within the next 30 days. It otherwise looks nearly identical to what we saw at CES this year — much like the Fitbit line of activity tracks, the Pulse keeps tabs on your steps, distance, elevation climbed, and sleep cycles. It also lets you measure your heart rate by inserting your finger into the clip on the back — a feature that perhaps gave the…
Waking up to be welcomed by a weighing scale that tells you to stand up straight and buck up your ideas could not be every person’s ideal early morning, however we do like Withings’ gear. The company’s most current, the WS-30, has actually meandered over from Europe and is now available to order from today in the US of A. It’ll set you back $ 130, however that’s a small cost to pay if you’re planning to make a few positive life modifications prior to the winter forces you to stay inside.
Continue reading Withings WS-30 anti-slouch connected weighing scales show up in the US for $ 130Filed under: Misc, WirelessWithings WS-30
anti-slouch connected weighing scales arrive in the US for $ 130 initially appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05
anti-slouch connected weighing scales arrive in the US for $ 130 initially appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05
Withings has introduced a new set of wireless bathroom scales to spare us sedentary geeks the effort of recording our weekly weigh-ins. The updated set includes Position Control technology, which we assume means it tells you to stand up straight and suck your belly in while it’s sending your details to the internet. All you need is a smartphone or tablet that can use its new Health Companion App. which came out earlier this month. It arrives in Europe at the end of September, and equipping yourself for a war on weight will cost you €120.
Are you using a Withings WiFi Body Scale to monitor your weight-loss efforts? Are you also using a BodyMedia FIT Armband to track your activity and calories burned? Get ready for a body-stat explosion, because now you can pair the two devices to streamline all that info on your progress. Instead of manually entering your weight into the BodyMedia activity manager, just step on the Withings scale and it will be imported into your BodyMedia online dashboard via WiFi. That’s all well and good, but it reminds us an awful lot of Fitbit, which sells a less-expensive body scale that integrates with the company’s wearable fitness trackers. The full Withings / BodyMedia press release is after the break, but shouldn’t you be out running or something?