[Health Tech] Blue Anatomy Body Scales REVIEW

Following our reviews of mobile linked fitness trackers we have managed to get our hands on a set of Bluetooth enabled wireless body scales from Blue Anatomy.

Build and Appearance

On opening the packaging we were presented with a very elegant looking set of weigh scales with a black glass top, a small rubber coated centrally installed Bluetooth unit, a blue LCD display and a black plastic base. The build quality looks and feels good, however we would have liked to see telescopic feet to account for uneven floor surfaces. It is nice to see that the scales are truly wireless relying on 4 AAA batteries for their power source and using Bluetooth 4.0 LTE to ensure maximum battery life.


Functionality

Along with basic weight measurement the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales include body conductivity measurement in order to calculate % body fat, % body water, % muscle mass and bone mass and BMI (Body Mass Index) based on user inputted sex, age and height information. This functionality places the Blue Anatomy scales in direct competition with Runtastics Libra scales which costs 20 euro more at 130 euro, but bring integration with the Runtastic activity tracking software and hardware. Both devices, however, are out performed by Fitbits Aria scales which cost £140, replacing Bluetooth with WiFi connectivity enabling them to automatically upload your measurements without the need for a mobile phone.

In order to access more information than basic weight from the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales an Android or iOS device is required as all user input is via the mobile app (Android or iOS) rather via the scales directly. Connecting the scales to a mobile phone running the Blue Anatomy app (Android or iOS) not only enables user data input, but also provides the ability to automatically log trending information for all of the body measurements recorded or calculated by the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales. Once saved the information is both stored in the mobile app (Android or iOS) and uploaded to the Blue Anatomy cloud service accessible at http://my.blueanatomy.com. Although some users will be happy that Blue Anatomy is a closed system we would have liked to see connectivity and resultant data transfer with other services like Fitbit, MyFitnessPal and other fitness tracking services available.

The initial connection to the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales was simple, requiring Bluetooth connectivity to be switched on and the mobile app (Android or iOS) to be open. When the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales are stepped on the LCD displays a pairing screen at which point the mobile phone needs to be paired with the scales via the Bluetooth devices screen, but this is a one-time task with subsequent connections being automated.

Follow on operation, needs the mobile app (Android or iOS) to be opened prior to stepping on the scales. Although the scales LCD screen displays ‘pairing’ switching to the ‘Measure’ screen in the mobile app (Android or iOS) will cause the mobile device to attempt to initiate it’s Bluetooth connection to the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales prior displaying a start button to perform and log body measurements. When using the Android app we found that the initial connection failed every time, but tapping ‘yes’ when presented with the ‘Unable to connect device. Do you want to try again?’ message in the Android app resulted in a successful second connection attempt.

Mobile App and Service

Initial set-up requires the creation of an admin account based on a user e-mail and password created within the mobile app (Android or iOS) or via the http://my.blueanatomy.com website. Once the admin account has been set-up the app (Android or iOS) and service (http://my.blueanatomy.com) support multiple users accounts which are set-up within the mobile app, but can then be switched between within any mobile app linked to the same admin user account.

Once set-up the mobile app (Android or iOS) is used initiate and record the Blue Anatomy wireless body scales measurements and displaying previous readings and graphed trend data. Although the readings are useful the y-axis of the graphs sadly are not automatically resizable making them unusable on a mobile screen and meaning that the trend graphs are only of use on tablet screens or the website (http://my.blueanatomy.com). We hope this will be improved upon by the development in in a future update.

We are happy to that the http://my.blueanatomy.com website provides automatic axis scaling of the trend graphs like we had hoped for in the mobile app (Android or iOS) along with the ability to export the previous measurement data to csv for analysis via other services and apps.

Conclusion

The Blue Anatomy wireless body scales are well made providing solid functionality, but there is still some work to do to maximise the usability of the mobile app (Android or iOS) and we would also like to see integration with other fitness communities.

Verdict

Positive

  • No wires
  • Clear display
  • Multiple accurate body measurements
  • Very aesthetically and robust design

Negative

  • No axis scaling in Android app makes graphs unreadable
  • No integration with other services
  • No telescopic self-levelling feet
  • Need Android or Apple device to look at trend data

Score

Build ****

Good solid look and feel.

Functionality ***

Makes weight management easy with trending information at your fingertips as long as you use the http://my.blueanatomy.com website. Sadly, the trend data is not viewable in graphical form in the mobile app due to axis scaling issues. Competing scales have integration with other fitness services or are part of existing fitness ecosystems.

Affordability ****

The Blue Anatomy wireless body scales were the cheapest scales in our comparison, but still look and feel well made and are pleasing to the eye.

Overall ***

The Blue Anatomy wireless body scales score a high 3 out of 5, only being let down by the graph scaling issues within mobile app (Android or iOS) and the lack of integration with other fitness services.

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