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Bedscales pitches a weight-monitoring device that works while you sleep

We've seen quite a few wearable fitness gadgets hit the market in recent months, but one European startup is promising to help you get in shape without wearing anything on your wrist. In fact, the technology goes about its business while you're fast asleep.

Bedscales, which debuted at the Demo Fall show in Santa Clara, Calif. last month, launched a Kickstarter campaign on Oct. 26 and as of Monday had raised nearly $11,000 (£6,889) towards a $130,000 (£81,420) funding goal with 21 days to go.

As its name implies, Bedscales makes slim scales that slip under your bedposts and measure your weight "for the rest of your life, without ever having to step on a bathroom scale again," according to a promotional video produced by the startup.

The startup is pitching its system as a hassle-free, set-it-and-forget-it alternative to the plethora of fitness wristbands that require programming and maintenance.

"It's totally non-invasive, there are no wires, straps, or devices to wear," said Bedscales co-founder Julian Gough.

After installing the four Bedscales pressure plates under the four legs of a bed and plugging in the central device, users receive daily and aggregated updates on their weight fluctuations and sleeping patterns, as well as tips on diet and exercise, sent to their smartphone, tablet, or PC.

Bedscales offers more than just weight tracking. The Wi-Fi-equipped central device uploads the data generated by its scales to the Bedscales site, where that data is processed with "algorithms developed through years of research [to] extract precise measures of when and how well the user slept," per the startup.

This process has been validated "against polysomnographic studies in a university sleep laboratory—the gold standard in sleep measurement," according to Bedscales, and enables the company to offer specific advice and encouragement on how to get healthier and sleep better over time.

While daily updates are nice, Bedscales makes it clear that the real value of its system is in logging a user's weight and sleep patterns over the long haul.

"Bedscales users immediately discover how their sleep and weight interact with exercise, lifestyle choices, and the environmental characteristics of their bedroom. These insights grow more valuable over time as subtle correlations and long-term trends emerge. Bedscales plugs squarely into an emerging and vibrant ecosystem of personal activity sensors, workout tracking apps, and environmental monitoring systems often referred to as 'quantified self devices,'" the startup said.

What's more, Bedscales claims its sleep monitoring setup works even when two people are sharing a bed.

"With one Bedscales device you can track both weight and sleep for two people sharing the same bed. So long as you don't swap sides during the course of one night, it doesn't even matter which side of the bed you sleep," the company said in its FAQ.

Bedscales, which hopes to be shipping product by mid-2014, is offering Kickstarter supporters first-run units for $249 (£155). That package comes with four pressure plates, a Wi-Fi-enabled central device, and access to the Web and mobile apps used to receive and review the information generated by the weight-and-sleep-monitoring system.

Image credit: Flickr (RelaxingMusic)