“If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things-using data they gathered without any help from us-we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so. ” – Kevin Ashton
Kevin Ashton was a Proctor & Gamble employee when he used the phrase “Internet of Things” as the title of a presentation in 1999. It caught on, but it was often misunderstood. So Ashton redefined the Internet of Things, and an entire movement about which he regularly writes and speaks, in an RFID Journal article.
Inspiration for Withings
Among those inspired by the Internet of Things is Withings, a French start-up established by three executives from the technology and telecom industry. Withings focuses its innovation and design on everyday products-the kind gadget-loving noobies will want to check out-and it is well on its way to revolutionizing personal health care.
Connected Consumer Devices
The first Withings product, the Wi-Fi Body Scale, hit the U.S. market in 2009. Its growing popularity set the stage for Withings’ line of health-related sensors that are simple-to-use, enjoyable devices that connect to the Internet and the Withings Cloud Platform.
The Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale
You and up to eight other people can step onto the Wi-Fi Body Scale (U.S. $159.00) as often (or as seldom) as you want. Each time you weight yourself, the Wi-Fi scale automatically measures your body weight as well as the amount of your lean vs. fat body mass then uploads your data to a web-based dashboard with tools for tracking progress in weight loss or gain.
Take your personalized data with you to the doctor’s office or to a meeting with a nutritionist when you install free Withings apps to your iPhone, iPad or Android. Or, find your motivation online by connecting your scale’s data to accounts on Fleetly.com, RunKeeper.com, LoseIt.com, and dozens of other applications and websites that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Proud of your accomplishments? Tweet your success or give others access to your online weight charts. Just make sure you weigh less than 396 lbs before you start using the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale. Data displayed above that weight may not be valid.
Smart Baby Monitor by Withings
Next to arrive in the U.S. was the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor (U.S. $129.00), which is a blood pressure cuff that plugs into iOS devices so it can measure, record and track blood pressure. Not far behind the Blood Pressure Monitor was a much anticipated Withings Baby Monitor-a truly game-changing product.
The Withings Smart Baby Monitor (U.S. $299.00) is a small, attractive device that sits in your baby’s room. It uses WiFi to send wide-angle video as well as noise, movement, temperature and humidity alerts to the free WithBaby app on your iOS device. Talk through the video display and your baby will hear you from the in-room monitoring device. If she still needs soothing, you can use your iOS device to start a lullaby or switch on a color-changing night light.
You can continue to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch while keeping an ear out for baby. When you keep the app running in the background, you’ll still get live audio from his room. You can also see and hear your baby from outside your home’s Wi-Fi network with 15 minutes a day of free audio/video streaming. For more precious time, buy additional 100-minute increments for $5.99 each.
Watch for the next Withings product that will also help with at-home baby care-the Smart Baby Scale for babies and toddlers up to 55 pounds. Hopefully there will be much more to come from Withing as it pursues its vision to create an ecosystem of permanently connected appliances.