Give your Wii Balance Board a second life with FitScales for Android

Source: Google Play

Remember back when the Nintendo Wii was a huge thing and everyone from little kids to grandparents were becoming gamers? Back then Wii Fit was really popular. It was a title that walked you through various exercises with the help of the Wii Remote, the Nunchuk controller, and the Wii Balance Board. The Balance Board was not only used for the activities, it was used as a scale too, so that Wii Fit could track your weight.

If your house is anything like mine, the Wii and the Balance Board are now relegated to a closet somewhere next to the Furby and those snowshoes you bought after the Winter of 2009-10, just before you moved to Florida.

The Wii is (for now at least) a lost cause, but it turns out you can still get some use out of that Balance Board, if you happen to be an Android user. The MoDaCo blog unearthed an app called FitScales that connects a Wii Balance Board to an Android device.

All you have to do is run the app, tell it how tall you are, and sync it with the Balance Board (by hitting the button on the board). Let it all calibrate, then step on it and wait for results. Your weight will be displayed on your Android device. You can also connect the app to Fitbit or RunKeeper if you use either of those services, so your weight can be tracked online.

Best of all, FitScales is free and open source. Source code is available on github. The only bad news is that for now it won't work on Android 4.2. Hopefully that'll be rectified soon.

On a side note, it looks like the first release of this app is about a year old. So why are we talking about it now? Because Paul O'Brien happened upon it and blogged about it. That says a lot about the problem of discoverability in app stores these days. Maybe the old version wasn't stable or there was some other reason this app wasn't popular before now; it's hard to say. But it makes you wonder how many other truly useful apps are buried somewhere in the Play store (or Apple's App Store) waiting to be discovered.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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