Looking to add an intelligent scale to your home? You may already have one and not even know it.
Nintendo’s Wii Fit Balance Board can measure your weight, in addition to being used for sports games and exercise apps on the Wii console. The MoDaCo blog notes a free Android app called FitScales taps into Nintendo’s accessory without wires, enabling you to use the device as a smart scale.
After installing the app and providing it with your height, you can sync your Android with the Balance Board and then stand on it to have your weight captured. Thanks to the wireless connection, your weight will appear on your phone. Even better: FitScales uses the available APIs to send your weight data to either your FitBit (see disclosure) or RunKeeper account, just like a traditional web-connected scale would do.
Note that FitScales supports Android 2.1 to Android 4.1, so if you’re running Android 4.2, you’ll have to wait for an upgrade before your device is supported. And there’s one user experience challenge in the app: You have to sync the board and phone every time you use the app, which is a bit of a pain.
I don’t know how many Wii Fit Balance Boards have been sold by Nintendo, but I think this app is brilliant. It extends an older piece of hardware at a time where health gadgets are picking up steam. Effectively, we can repurpose our own Balance Board, which is collecting dust right now, saving the $100 or more it would cost to buy a dedicated Wi-Fi scale.
Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of GigaOM. Om Malik, founder of GigaOM, is also a venture partner at True.