14033 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 10:57am
By Jessica Goldbogen Harlan
CHICAGO–The obesity crisis might be bad news for America, but there’s a bright side for at least one sector—the scale and body-fat monitor industry. New technologies, futuristic designs and even fashion-forward colors are among the innovations in the latest crop of scales being introduced at the International Home & Housewares Show.
American Trading House Inc.
American Trading House Inc., under its Trimmer brand, is targeting those looking for overall fitness measurements. Its Health Monitor Digital Glass Scale has four gauge sensors that calculate body fat, water and muscle mass, and, of course, weight. The scale has features like a low battery indicator, a kilo/pound selection and a 1.8-inch LCD display. Trimmer’s other scales include two goal-tracking digital glass scales that can store results for up to five people, tracking weight differences for the last five weigh-ins.
Whatever the bathroom decor, there’s likely a color to match with Escali’s B180G model of scales, which are made of tempered glass in seven colors, ranging from sage green or rose pink to classics like black and silver. The scales are available either round or square, and their features include a tap-on platform and a hold feature, which continues to show weight after the user steps off the scale.
Leifheit’s new body-analysis scale—Contour F3—determines weight, fat and water content measurements, with 0.2 pound increments for weight and 0.1 percent increments for other values. The scale has an automatic eight-person recognition feature and will be available in June.
Also new here are a handful of scale introductions called Legno, which translates to “wood” in Italian. The line has a natural wood-veneer platform with a water- and scratch-resistant varnish, trimmed with soft-lined stainless-steel accents.
Alpha is a reinterpretation of the classic glass scale. It has a highly precise weighting technology, accurate to 0.1 pounds. Both scales have pound/kilo/stone switches.
Mark of Fitness Inc.
Mark of Fitness Inc. is marketing an Electronic Scale with Body Composition under the Prevention magazine brand. The scale determines weight, calculates body mass index and percentage of body fat, hydration and muscle mass. It also has the ability to save individual profiles and to recognize which user is currently using the scale.
The new Full Body Sensor body composition monitor and scale (HBF-516) from Omron also does more than just calculate weight; it uses six electrodes at hands and feet to measure seven fitness indicators, including body age, body fat, visceral fat (a warning sign for heart disease and Type II diabetes), skeletal muscle, body mass index and resting metabolism. The scale will be available in May and has a suggested retail price of $120.
Similar technologies are at work with Salter’s MAX-View Body Analyzer and Scale. It uses stainless-steel electrodes with black mirror accents to monitor basal metabolic rate, body mass index, body fat and water. The step-on scale has an extra-large digital read-out screen and the scale has a beeping indicator to show the measurement has been taken; the reading is visible for 10 seconds after the user steps off the scale.
Also from Salter, the MAX-View Electronic Scale is made of sleek white glass and features a large digital read-out screen with a bright blue backlight, a beeping measurement indicator and a 10-second hold for the reading.
Salter’s sister brand Taylor is introducing two scales; Model 7545 has a large 1.6-inch LCD readout, a capacity to 440 pounds, and a glass platform that lights up blue when stepped on. Model 9142, meanwhile, has a modern stainless-steel design with platform glass accent pieces and a 1-inch profile. This scale also has a blue backlight display, 1.5-inch digits and a 440-pound capacity.
Terraillon is hoping to address the childhood obesity epidemic with its Family Body Control concept. The company said it is concentrating on a technology that allows the family to begin monitoring their children’s body mass index starting at age 2 versus the standard age 7. The company’s FBC Verso classifies and monitors the status of body mass in children, dependent on age and gender, and also calculates the body mass index of adults. It’s able to store the results of up to five users and comes with a block chart to illustrate results.