Withings Thermo

Hands-on with the futuristic Withings Thermo

It’s CES week, and I’m ill. I knew I was ill, but it was confirmed by a nice chap at the Withings booth. He was demonstrating the brand’s latest piece of kit: the Thermo. It’s a futuristic-looking infrared thermometer that will keep a track of your whole family’s temperature. Nifty, eh?

In typical Withings style, the Thermo is a sleek piece of kit. A cylindrical matte-white tube, slightly indented on one side and finished off with a green cap at the end. It looks like someone plucked it straight out of a medical bay in Star Trek – or some other sci-fi drama.

Related: CES 2016 Live

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Having never used anything like this before, I was intrigued to put it through its paces. Using the Thermo is dead simple: just press the button, hold it up to the side of your head – not on your forehead – and wait a few seconds until it vibrates. Voila, it’s done.

On the side of the Thermo is an LED read-out that will display your temperature. The thermometer will then beam all the data back to the companion app on your phone.

The Thermo works by combining 16 on-board sensors with something Withings calls a HotSpotSensor. This finds the hottest spot on your head and pops out a reading. It’s fast, and Withings says its super-accurate.

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There’s also a specially designed algorithm at play, which corrects the Thermo for abnormalities such as heat loss and ambient temperature.

Instead of just relying on Bluetooth, the Thermo also has built-in Wi-Fi for beaming your data back to the app. Inside the app you can set up profiles for up to five family members, view a temperature diary and add any extra symptoms or medical issues. It’s even possible to share your Thermo data, sending it directly to your doctor, for example.

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The Thermo is powered by two AA batteries – I was told that these continue to run for about a year before they need switching out. Note, however, that this is with average use.

Of course, I can’t completely vouch for the accuracy of the Thermo. But I knew I had a temperature and the device threw out a reading that seemed about right. While it’s set to go on sale sometime in Q1/2016, it’s yet to receive FDA approval in the USA. Withings says it should receive the necessary clearance, but there’s always a chance this could throw up some delays.

When it does hit shelves, the Withings Thermo will set you back $99.95.

First impressions

Feeling ill, I was in a prime condition to test out the Withings Thermo. And following the demo, I can say that it appears to work. It’s quick, too, and so easy to use that you shouldn’t feel annoyed every time you have to pull it from the drawer.

The fact that it looks like a cast-off from the Starship Enterprise only adds to its appeal.

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