Best HomeKit-compatible smart home devices from CES 2017

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HomeKit devices are spawning fast.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

CES2017 The jury’s still out on whether HomeKit will really take over our homes and all the smart devices in them, but new HomeKit-compatible devices continue to pop up all the time. At CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week, vendors showed off a bunch of them, from light switches to security cameras.

Here’s our roundup of the best.

Smart hairbrush tells your iPhone if you’re not brushing properly

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You're brushing it wrong!
Photo: Withings/L’Oreal

CES2017 Every year at CES, there’s one gadget that epitomizes the crazier side of Silicon Valley’s “connected tech” smart devices mania.

In 2017, that prize may well belong to Withings and L’Oreal’s newly unveiled smart hairbrush — a device that critiques your hair-brushing technique, then feeds the results back to your smartphone.

Black Friday deals on health and fitness: A Withings gift guide

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Withings Black Friday gift guide
Great Black Friday deals slash up to 70 percent off Withings fitness and health gear.
Photos: Withings

This heart-healthy smart scale delivers what your fitness apps are missing

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Withings Body Cardio smart scale
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale adds crucial cardiovascular insights to your health data mix.
Photo: Withings

Withings’ futuristic scale measures cardiac health

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The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
Photo: Withings

Getting a checkup on the old ticker used to require a visit to the doctor, but thanks to Withings’ incredibly smart new device, soon all you’ll need to do is put your feet on a scale.

The new Withings Body Cardio is trying to completely change the expectations of the modern scale by adding a technology called Pulse Wave Velocity to get a holistic view of your health by measuring your weight, BMI, body composition, and most important of all, cardiac health.

How to turn your iPhone’s Health app into an essential fitness dashboard

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A dashboard for your body: all your key stats at a glance.
The Health app can become a dashboard for your body, offering all your key stats at a glance.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Despite its heart-shaped icon, Health is an unloved app. It tends to gets relegated to a junk folder, along with other un-deletable Apple cruft, like the Stocks app.

But when you get past its garish colors and clunky user interface, Apple’s Health app turns out to be genuinely useful — if you customize the dashboard to match your personal fitness goals.

Weighing the options for monitoring your body fat

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Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the
Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the "gold standard" for body fat analysis (right)
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you want to lose weight, your Apple Watch can help you sustain healthy habits, but it can’t actually monitor your progress. For that you need to step onto scales.

Any scale will measure your weight, but that is only part of the story. Whether you are dieting or bulking up, it is just as important to keep track of your body fat. The trouble is, this is notoriously hard to measure accurately. As I discovered when I bought a new Withings Smart Body Analyzer, if you think you already know your body fat percentage, you are probably way off.

From dad bod to six pack: Essential gear for bulking up

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Some of the best fitness gadgets don’t fit on your wrist.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

After a brush with cancer prompted me to take my health more seriously, I began using run trackers to start my journey from dad bod to six pack.

At first, running was the only exercise I did. It helped me lose my love handles, but I ended up looking too skinny. I decided it was time to put on some muscle. While Apple Watch and other wearables are great for running, they’re not much help when it comes to bulking up. As I soon discovered, some of the best fitness gadgets don’t fit on your wrist.

Best of CES 2015: Get a glimpse of the fantastic future

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Anything goes at International CES, the world's largest consumer electronics show. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — Walk the halls of the massive International CES trade show and you’ll be bombarded by an outrageous number of pitches for products with radical new features.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 You can glimpse the shiny happy future of consumer electronics at the show, although some of the innovations on display are clearly destined for the dustbin of gadget history.

At the biggest booths, reps for big companies like Sony and Samsung — but, sadly, not Apple — talk up the latest additions to their product lines. At smaller booths, inventors show off prototypes for products that may not ever roll off an assembly line. There’s a nonstop blitz of “world’s first” products.

It’s impossible to see everything, but it’s a blast trying. Here are Cult of Mac’s picks for the best of CES 2015, from Lightning-enabled headphones and massive TVs to drones and self-adjusting belts.

Withings’ new Activité Pop is a smartwatch you’ll actually want to wear

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Withings smart watch is one of the best looking wearables around. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Withings smart watch is one of the best looking wearables around. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — The problem with the state of smartwatches, beyond the sucky software, is that they’re all ugly. The Apple Watch might very well be the first wearable that not only works, but looks good too, although we won’t know for sure until the finished product is on our wrists this spring.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 There were dozens and dozens of smartwatches displayed on the sprawling show floor at International CES last week, but the only one that looked good enough to adorn my wrist was the new Withings Activité Pop.

It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of fancier watches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, but it’s not your average dumb watch either. And for now, just a smidgen smarter is smart enough.