A few months ago, I ran across the Etekcity Bluetooth Smart Body Fat Scale and I was intrigued. Although I have a scale that is accessible to me as a blind person, I really liked the idea of a device that could sync with my phone and provide me with more than just my body weight. The Etekcity scale seemed to be the right tool for the job, although I was reluctant because I wasn’t sure if the app would be accessible to me. Of course, the only way to find out was to purchase it, so after Christmas, I took the plunge and ordered it. After all, I couldn’t argue with the price. (I paid less than $20 for the scale.)
I was so excited when the scale arrived, but since I’d never used it before, I had to wait for some sighted assistance to get started. Luckily, my husband was happy to provide that over his lunch break.
My first impressions were good. The scale has a simple design and it’s incredibly durable. (Ask me how I know.) I did end up needing someone to orient me to the front of the scale since it wasn’t immediately recognizable by touch, but that wasn’t a big deal.
When it came time to set up the app though, things didn’t go as smoothly. The scale requires the use of an app called VeSyncFit. Ideally, you’re supposed to use the app to set up an account, pair it with the scale, and use it to start collecting data. The app gives you access to biometrics like body fat percentage, bone mass, muscle mass, percentage of body water, and more.
Setup was far from ideal for me though. Parts of the app are accessible on my Android phone running Google Talkback and Explore by Touch. There are buttons that I can’t access at all though, and what’s more, there is detailed information available to sighted users that isn’t being read to me. And lastly, if I want my scale connected to my Google Fit app, I’ll apparently have to turn off my accessibility so that a sighted user can do it because I can’t enable that feature at all while my accessibility setting are enabled.
I’m still thrilled to have the scale. The hardware is great, but the app that’s required to get access to the biometric data is NOT a good fit for blind users. Yes, I got a profile set up, and yes, I’m using the app to collect biometrics, but I suspect I’m missing 50% of the app’s features due to lack of accessibility.
Since the price point of the scale was amazing, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. After all, the app does add some functionality to the scale that I couldn’t get with my old talking scale. My hope is that the app developers will improve the app though because tools like this are amazing assets to those of us who’re blind and visually impaired, and I doubt it’d take much from a development perspective to fix the current issues present in the app.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to use my new scale to collect data about my body composition as I continue on my path to better health.