There are lots of things at CES guaranteed to get your blood pressure rising -- taking an elbow to the kidneys from someone in the crowd while trying to secure that vital photograph, or finding yourself booted off the hotel Wi-Fi for the third time this morning -- but at least this year we'll know exactly what our blood pressure is, thanks to the Withings iPhone-connected Blood Pressure Monitor. Crave was on hand to have our vitals checked...
The Pressure Monitor is dead simple to use -- there's an armband much like the ones used for taking your blood pressure when you're at the doctor's, and this connects to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Fire up the associated free app, and the armband will start measuring your blood pressure, by inflating and then deflating around your arm.
We had our readings taken (don't worry, we're surprisingly healthy) and found the process to be very comfortable, and it only took around 20 seconds or so, during which time we were asked not to speak (which may or may not have been for medical reasons) and to try to relax.
Once your readings are taken, the app will tell you that vital figure, and usefully will chart your readings in a scalable graph, so if you measure your blood pressure regularly you can see how you're faring day-to-day. The interface was clear and intuitive.
Best of all, your readings can be automatically transmitted to a password-protected website, and cloud services such as Google Health or Microsoft HealthVault if the product website is to be believed, so you can access your data from wherever you can find a Web connection.
There's also a feature to securely send your readings, so you could pass them on to your doctor. If you're unconcerned about everyone knowing your blood-pressure secrets, there's also the option to publish your stats to a webpage.
Withings is best known for its Wi-Fi scales, which keep track of your weight online, and also just unleashed an iPhone-enabled baby monitor.
We love the quirkier products that creep out the woodwork at CES, but this one could actually prove really useful, especially if you regularly need to check your blood pressure, which can be a lot of hassle. Hopefully it'll make people's lives a little easier when it goes on sale The monitor will go on sale this month priced at $130 (£85), or €130.