May 02, 2013, 2:23 PM —
Image via Tscherno/Flickr
Remember a few years back, just before 2008, when Nintendo released Wii Fit, the game/system/scale thingy that was going to make everybody lose weight and get active in front of their televisions? It was part of a $2 billion boom in health-based games, and it was, like most things that are more fun than practical, totally the future, man.
And when was the last time you used your Wii Fit? Right. But here's the thing: the Wii Fit connected to your Wii via Bluetooth. And your Android phone has a Bluetooth connection that's pretty open to developer hackery. And that's just what someone did: they made an app that turns your Wii Fit board into a new-fangled, web-connected "smart scale". Say hello to FitScales. The hardest part is going to be finding new batteries for the scale that has probably long since burned out the AA items you bought back when Taylor Swift was still a new name.
What the app does is, basically, weigh you, and report that weight to either your FitBit activity tracking device or to your RunKeeper account, allowing you to graph, chart, and share your fitness progress and failings over time. It basically takes something you paid more than $50 for five years ago and turns it into the minimum viable definition of a "Smart Scale," the type of thing you would now pay about $100 for the privilege of web-shared weights.
Mind you, you have to connect over Bluetooth every time you fire up FitScales, and the app only works with Android versions 2.1 through 4.1--which is odd, because the latest build, 4.2, is not included. The crossover between people likely to try this kind of tweak and those with the latest Android version is likely pretty high, and I'd hope this incompatibility gets fixed up soon.
In any case, I love seeing old technology get new life, and to see open connection standards prove their worth in fun ways. And for the first time in a long time, I'm eager to run home, yank off my shoes, and stand on the dirty plastic of my Wii Balance Board.
Major hat tip and thanks to Kevin Tofel's post on FitScales at GigaOM