I admit that I may have an excessive amount of fitness equipment. There is the smart scale with things that connects to the Happy Scale app that connects to Apple Health that connects to My Fitness Pal that connects to Fit bit that connects to Strava that connects to my Tom Tom clock.
So in many ways, I am the perfect buyer for Shape Scale, a 3D body scanner that can provide enough information for even the steepest data fanatic. The Shape Scale, which today launches a pre-order of $ 499, uses body scanning to create a 360-degree 3D digital avatar, with measurements and body composition statistics. The co-founders Alexandre Wayenberg and Martin Kessler visited the offices of The Verge in New York to give a demonstration and also realize my dream of always being weighed in front of my office.
The round ladder looks like any other, but there is an arm that extends from a camera. This arm runs around you for four times, to take extremely comprehensive photos of your body. Using the combination of these images and your actual weight, Shape Scale creates the avatar. The entire process should take about 30 seconds. (It is interesting to note that ShapeScale is not the only 3D body scanner out there .There is also a called Naked.With Naked, however, the scale itself turns you instead of having an arm which revolves around you.)
Then, on an application, you see the data. This shows your weight, of course, alongside measurements – hips, waist, thighs, arms, etc. It also gives you a body composition and even provides a percentage of body fat per body part, so you can know if your torso is 20 per cent fat. You are supposed to do this by wearing formal clothes, which I was not, so I did not receive my measurements. But I saw my avatar, and it looked extremely accurate. Co-founders say Shape Scale’s technology could work well with e-commerce; They are among those who collaborate with clothing companies to explore the idea of letting people try virtually products.
Of course, you can use a tape measure to get measurements, and it costs only a few dollars. But nobody wants to do it every day. Wayenberg and Kessler hope that all this detailed information will motivate people to continue to improve their fitness goals. Many people get discouraged when they try to exercise because they do not see results, said the duo. Either the numbers do not move, even if you lose fat and you get muscle. The scale brings you the dimensions; The application helps you define body weight and body objectives, and even measurement goals for specific parts.
Several studies suggest that 3D optical scanning can be quite accurate. The technology has been around for more than two decades, says John Shepherd, a professor of biomedical imaging at the University of California-San Francisco. (He conducts NIH funded research on what can be learned from bodily testing and is still recruiting for studies). The initial scanners were made using laser scanning technology, as is used to analyse bar codes in grocery stores. The latest technologies offer a certain type of model and the algorithms allow comparing how the model seems to be projected on your body, depending on the surface plane. From there, it predicts the shape of your body.
The original scanners carry over $ 100,000, and those that Shepherd use in its laboratory amount about $ 20,000. In recent years, however, costs have declined rapidly. The Xbox Kinect, for example, has been the basic technology for several scanning devices that are available as part of Shepherd. It cannot evaluate the Shape Scale itself but says it is possible that it receives decent results, although it is always quality control necessary to ensure that the analysis is good price.
For me, however, the real question was how much all this data is useful. On the one hand, I love the idea of having objective measures and an easy way to monitor progress. But I also had a diet problem in high school and I know that too much information can be overwhelming, even flaws and cause obsession. (When I brought the food desert program to Wayenberg and Kessler, they were mentioned and interested in reminders.) For example, food tracking apps remind you of your minimal daily calories if you connect too little. Being, it’s hard to build A reminder not to weigh yourself too often in a day.)
All this data can be useful to many people, especially athletes in training, says Michael Sachs, a psychologist at Temple University. “This can certainly be motivating,” he said, “and some can be self-reinforcing.” For example, he adds that he had a study conducted with Nike + which showed that people who have downloaded more data looking in addition to performing, presumably because they were launched for their progress.
Plus do not try to be a magic bullet if you are not already prone to exercise. John Raglin, a kinesiology professor at Indiana University-Bloomington, says there is not much data to suggest more information would help you adhere to a routine. Study after study shows that exercise is simply not the best way to lose weight. Body changes happen slowly, and most people do not have the discipline to continue if they do not see immediate big results. So, knowing that you have 0.002 per cent body fat lower than yesterday powerful will not suffice. This gets closer, the more people continue, the worse because of the immediate benefits, such as stress relief and energy.
In addition, too much information can be discouraging for some. “I can see a situation where you are faced with the reality of the gradual change that exercise entailed, and you are like” you have to laugh at me, I have done everything and this is what is happening ” Raglin. “You should feel good about any change, the more this kind of information may not be terribly motivating But you are expecting that the pounds will blend as we are told that self-exercise -called “.
There is no “right” level of information, and different things motivate different people. In the end, say Raglin and Sachs, something like Shape Scale would be best for those who already know a lot of fitness and can contextualize the numbers. “These data are very significant, the more you need someone who will ask you:” You have earned a lot, it’s good, it places you at the top 5% or 10% and that’s important for these reasons, “If you cannot find someone who can do for you, or what this type of knowledge is, it’s just a kind of raw information that will not be useful.”