Amazon.com Inc. today jumped into the fitness band market with Halo, a subscription service and fitness band of the same name that is designed to help customers improve their health.
Amazon Halo combines a suite of artificial intelligence-powered health features, including the Amazon Halo App and the Amazon Halo band. That band uses multiple advanced sensors to provide highly accurate health information, the company said. The band stands out from the competition by having no screen, an arguably bold move that Amazon pitches as being comfortable, stylish and distraction-free.
On the tech side, the Halo Band includes an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, two microphones, an LED indicator light and a button to turn the microphones on or off, among other functions. Along with being water-resistant, the device sports a battery that lasts up to seven days and charges in under 90 minutes. For those who like customization, there are three fabric band colors to choose from, along with 15 colors in silicon sport bands.
The Halo App is offering a suite of five core features that Amazon says is designed to give customers a comprehensive understanding of their health and fitness. Activity tracking includes a rewards system in which Amazon Halo rewards points based on the intensity and duration of movement. Sleep tracking uses motion, heart rate and temperature to measure time awake and asleep along with various phases of sleep during the night.
Body tracking taps into computer vision and machine learning to allow customers to measure their body mass index at home, a feature claimed to be nearly twice as accurate as smart scales.
Tone uses machine learning to analyze energy and positivity in a customer’s voice “so they can better understand how they may sound to others, helping improve their communication and relationships.” In an example given that verges on Orwellian, “Tone results may reveal that a difficult work call leads to less positivity in communication with a customer’s family, an indication of the impact of stress on emotional well-being.”
The final feature is simply labeled Labs and is described “as science-backed challenges, experiments, and workouts that allow customers to discover what works best for them specifically, so they can build healthier habits.”
Amazon Halo has a regular price of $99.99, with a $3.99-per-month subscription required to use the device. Through an early access period, Amazon is offering Halo for $69.99, including six months of Halo membership.
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