This scale, known as Shapa, looks like any normal scale, with one key difference: It doesn’t tell you how much you weigh.
When you purchase a Shapa scale, you’ll pair it (via Bluetooth) with the Shapa app, available for Android, iOS, or Amazon Alexa. Every time you step on the scale, the app will record (but not show you) your weight.
There are three things it shows you instead. First, a cute calendar indicates how many times you’ve stepped on (and forgotten to step on) your scale in the past week.
You’re supposed to step on it twice a day, and the app pesters you if you don’t. Every night and every morning, you’ll get a notification informing you that “It’s time to get on your Shapa!” If you don’t get on, it pings you again. For those who often quit diet and fitness programs, like me, the reminders are very effective motivators.
Instead of your weight, the app displays your “Shapa Color.” Blue and green mean you’re losing weight, while gray means you need to step up your game.
This is, I think, the most genius part of Shapa. As a long-time dieter, seeing a higher weight than usual is downright discouraging for me. Seeing a color, on a spectrum of colors, prescribes a path forward. Never once have I been depressed after stepping off my Shapa — I’m always determined to keep up my diet, even when my color is gray
The third section is full of “Missions,” small changes to your lifestyle that you’re asked to make each day. This is where the AI comes in.
Every day you’re presented with two missions, such as “Eat something green with every meal” or “Eat dinner with no distractions.” You tell the app whether you complete each mission.
Over time, while monitoring your measurements, Shapa learns which missions are working for you, and which missions aren’t, as well as which ones you’re completing. It then assigns you more of the missions that work, and fewer of the missions that don’t.
Shapa isn’t perfect yet. The app takes a while (about 20 days of consistent weigh-ins) to generate your first Shapa Color, which could turn off dieters who are easily discouraged. It also has trouble getting your weight when it’s wet, which will frustrate those who tend to weigh themselves on their way out of the shower.
But despite the minor flaws, I’m all in. Shapa has made me more excited about weight loss than I have been in a long time. If you’ve been trying and failing to lose weight for a while, you may just need artificial intelligence to help you along.
From now until Jan. 31, the scale is available for $99, with a $7.95/month subscription.