If you're looking to go beyond the standard fitness tracker, there are a growing number of specialist devices now available for quantifying just about every aspect of your existence. Skulpt just launched version 2 of its muscle tone and fat monitor at the Interbike expo in Las Vegas this week, and New Atlas was there to take a look.
The Skulpt Scanner is a palm-sized device with 12 electrodes on its back – press them briefly against any muscle to get a readout on the accompanying mobile app telling you just how lean (or otherwise) it is. A small electric current, which you reportedly can't feel, takes the reading, and Skulpt just needs a couple of seconds to grab its info.
The idea is you learn more about the efficiency of your exercise and can tailor programs that are really making a difference to the strength of your body. Skulpt's makers say it utilizes a range of frequencies and a custom-made algorithm to achieve accuracies to rival professional-level kit.
Essentially, the resistance and density Skulpt detects under your skin enables it to take muscle quality and fat readings. This new version of the gadget ditches the original's integrated screen, with the app for iOS and Android offering detailed feedback instead, and can then suggest workout regimes to try and improve weaker areas.
The system is also able to warn about possible muscle injuries, and is even smart enough to work out which exercises are helping you and which aren't, as long as you're prepared to share your daily routine with it.
The Skulpt team is keen to emphasize that muscle composition and body fat matters for anyone looking to improve their health and fitness, not just professional bodybuilders – but it's likely that only the serious gym goers are going to be able to put Skulpt to good use, even if it's simple enough for anyone to operate (a definite plus).
With devices like Skulpt and TomTom's new Touch tracker we're seeing body composition measurements added to the usual variables like steps counted and calories burned, giving us more and more data about our health. That's only useful if you know what to do with it, but at first glance Skulpt's accompanying apps seem to hit the mark.
You can order the Bluetooth Skulpt Scanner now for US$99, with a charging cradle and spray water bottle included. The apps are free to download and use.
Product page: Skulpt