Wi-Fi body scale WiThings packs on $3.8M for public humiliation diets

Paris-based WiThings, the company behind the popular Wi-Fi-enabled body scale, has raised 3 million euros, or roughly $3.8 million, from France’s Ventech, the venture-capital firm said on its website.

The body scale, WiThings’ first product, started shipping June last year and retails for $159 on Amazon.com. Once you weigh yourself, the scale transmits the data over to its servers, enabling you to track your weight overtime using its Web interface or iPhone app, with an option to broadcast it on Twitter for those inclined.

Many people are intensely private about their weight, especially if they struggle with it. But Facebook and Twitter have gotten others accustomed to sharing previously private details. The practice of sharing one’s weight is a component of what some call the “public humiliation diet,” a weight-loss program which enlists one’s friends and sometimes the public at large in keeping a dieter on track. The WiThings scale saves its users the trouble of consciously broadcasting their weight by automating the process.

So far, it’s been a hit with press and users alike. On Amazon, it ranks #514 in the health and personal care category, with 122 customer reviews and an average of 4.5/5. Tech industry veterans Jason Calacanis and Leo Laporte have used the product to announce their weights, as have many others.

The 20-person company, based entirely in Paris, plans to use the financing for the development of two new products, both of which are due in the next six months and likely to be similarly health and technology-related.