Your bathroom scale is dumb.
Yes, it measures how much you weigh, but it has no way of revealing what is actually going on in your body—which creates some motivational challenges. How would you feel if you were busting your butt trying to lose weight, but your weight stayed the same or even increased?
The scale makes this appear to be a serious problem by telling you that you are headed in the opposite direction of your goal. But maybe your training and diet are working just fine. Maybe you are burning fat and adding muscle. But the scale is telling you that whatever you are doing is failing
On the flip side, let's say you're trying to add muscle. You see your weight going up on the scale, but is it actually muscle or are you adding fat? Hard to say for sure without more info.
Some scales can calculate your percent of body fat using a method called bioelectrical impedance, but this is not considered reliable since hydration, what you eat, and your activity level can alter the results.
So other than going to a lab for a BodPod test or getting dunked in a big tub—methods that are considered the gold standard—there's no convenient and affordable way to truly measure how your body is responding to training.
Farhad Farahbakhshian, co-founder and CEO of Naked Labs, wanted to solve this problem by creating a product that allows individuals to accurately monitor their body measurements.
The result is the Naked 3D Fitness Tracker. Billed as the world's first at-home body scanner, it includes a full-length mirror and three 3D depth sensors that scan your body while a scale slowly rotates you to obtain a 3D body model.
Here are our eight favorite things about this product.
It produces a ridiculously accurate body model
The body model created by Naked is remarkable. The 3D depth sensors scan the body with enough detail that I was able to recognize Farahbakhshian's face in one of the scans. "Before" and "after" scans of individuals clearly showed differences in their bodies that might not be apparent to the eye.
The data from the body model is invaluable
"The 3D body model is used to capture your volume and body measurements," states Farahbakhshian. "The volume is used to calculate your volumetric body fat percentage, which is a similar methodology to the dunk tank test."
Volumetric body fat percentage is the most accurate way to measure how much fat and muscle you have on your body, which is the only way to tell if your training is actually changing your body composition. In addition, the system measures your neck, arms, shoulders, chest, waist, hips, quads and calves. You don't even have to bust out a tape measure to measure your massive arms!
It highlights where you are gaining and losing fat
The system detects where you are gaining muscle and losing fat—or if you are gaining fat and losing muscle—and displays the info as a heat map on your body model to see where changes are occurring.
There's an awesome time lapse feature
The time lapse feature allows you to scroll through your scan history so you can see how your body changed over time. It's a neat feature that illustrates the positive changes that are happening in your body as the result of your hard work.
Farahbakhshian recalled a story of a friend who was struggling with his fitness. Every year he wanted to recommit to his fitness, but he could never get it together. Farahbakhshian scanned his friend and paired him up with a personal trainer. He didn't lose much weight and was about to give up, but another scan showed him that his body had changed dramatically.
Seeing changes in your body validate that your workout and nutrition strategies are effective, and proves that your hard work is paying off.
It fits into your routine
"We've done our best to fit it into your daily routine. We didn't want to create a new experience for your home," says Farahbakhshian. "So we designed it in the shape of a mirror and a scale. You look in the mirror every day, and if you get on a scale every day, this should be the exact same experience."
It only takes a few seconds to complete
The scan only takes a few seconds to complete, and the data is transmitted to an app on your smartphone for review.
The design is sharp
The industrial design is sharp, and the product fits well in a bedroom or bathroom. The mirror can stand straight up or lean against a wall, and the scale wirelessly recharges on the base of the mirror. Farahbakhshian pointed out that the mirror itself is extremely high quality, which apparently is neither cheap nor easy to manufacture.
The Naked 3D Fitness Tracker is available for purchase for an introductory price of $499. Learn more about the product at Naked.fit.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock