The activity tracker that Withings showed off at CES this week may have been a super basic tracker, but Withings also unveiled something that's not quite as recognizable: an infrared thermometer. Infrared thermometers tend to look either like ultrasound wands or some sort of staple gun, and in typical Withings fashion, the France-based company set out to make a thermometer that was sleek, white, and made people at CES ask, "What the hell is that thing?"
I had the chance to try out the new Withings thermometer, called the Thermo, at a CES preview event. I've never used an infrared thermometer before, and I was admittedly intrigued by it. After pressing a single button on the Thermo, you're supposed to press the Thermo directly against your head — not your forehead, but around your temple, where there are arteries. The Thermos supposedly has sensors that detect the "hot spots" on your head. Moments later, it vibrates gently and shows you your temperature on the side of the Thermo, which also happens to be touch-sensitive.
The Thermo will take the temperatures for multiple family members, letting you cycle through names on the display, and will also send the info to a Withings mobile app, where you can see daily and monthly charts for temperature taking.
The Thermo's design is really pretty nifty, but there's a big catch: the Thermo, which is supposed to ship this spring for $100, is not yet FDA approved. Withings says it believes it should be approved in time to ship, and that the Thermo's accuracy levels meet FDA standards for infrared thermometers. But until it comes to market, we won't know for sure.