The Mateo bath mat can monitor your weight, posture and even your shoe size

Mat Smith
Bureau Chief, UK

Bathroom scales are scary. When you step on one, it's rarely good news, especially in 2020, when you can beam the vital statistics to your phone, and see those holiday excesses in line graph form. Mateo is a smart bathmat that hides such horrors. In fact, it covers it in toweling. There are two parts: a machine-washable cloth cover that looks like your garden-variety bath mat, and a slim mat that houses the technology to detect a surprising number of metrics from you.

While weight measurement is the most mainstream feature here (people have historically bought bathroom scales that languish in the corner), the Mateo has medical-grade 7,000-dot pressure mapping. What it can do is a little... intense. Not only can it identify users by their footprint, it can also create a heat map of how your foot makes contact with the ground. And an awful lot more.

The company says that its patent-pending tech can offer enough insight from this pressure mapping to offer a "posture score" and even suggest corrective exercises, based on expertise from a podiatric medicine panel. (Alas, I didn't test this at the show.) It sounds like Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for your posture. The company also claims it can detect some medical conditions, such as diabetic foot.

Part of the product's aim is very much stress reduction. The mat captures all this data any time the user stands on the mat. While you can check out those readings immediately, you can also just ignore those figures. The Mateo companion app can alert you when you reach any meaningful numbers, whether that's weight loss (or gain), or improved posture. For children, the mat can measure changes in shoe size, a clever way to make the most of these high-precision pressure sensors. A companion app (of course there is one) will show the aforementioned foot heatmaps, your weight tracking and other insights.

The Mateo is an elegant way to make weighing yourself less fraught. An unassuming bath mat can also live on your bathroom floor, tracking your weight without you even having to remember to do so.

The demonstration mats at CES were early prototypes and the company plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign in a few months, with plans to launch several iterations by the end of the year, including a high-end $179 mat with conductive thread to detect body composition, body fat percentages and more. Simpler models will cost less, but there are no firm prices yet.