Live from CES 2012: Withings and Fitbit duke it out

Are the differences between Withings and Fitbit black and white?
On the left is the Withings scale and the right is the new fitbit aria.

The Digital Health Summit at CES 2012 didn’t officially kick off until today, but yesterday brought a deluge of press releases and product reveals. One of the better narratives here is the rivalry between the two leading health device makers, Withings and fitbit. The two have always been competitors, but yesterday, fitbit fired a shot across Withings bow by announcing the fitbit aria, a wireless and cloud-connected scale, very similar to the scale that Withings has been known for since 2009.

Withings had its own series of announcements though. One of them, a baby scale (improved from Matthew Holt’s baby scale demo last year) to go along with the baby monitor it announced at our Berlin 2011 conference. Withings also told the CES crowd that their new cloud platform will allow the Withings online health tracking service to incorporate data from other external devices and platforms. Users of Zeo‘s sleep monitoring devices and the fitness tracking site RunKeeper are now able to add that data automatically to the Withings data visualization platform. fitbit’s platform, instead, focuses on helping users export data to a wide number of third-party health apps and data utility layers, one of which happens to be… RunKeeper. This means that, now, any fitbit user can analyze his or her data through the Withings platform.

Touché Withings; En garde fitbit!