Amazon’s new Halo fitness tracker can detect your emotions from your voice and 3D scan your body to measure body fat
Amazon is getting into wearables, but its new device, called Halo, is far from a traditional fitness tracker. In fact, Amazon Halo doesn’t have a screen at all.
The online giant’s new wristband prioritizes health more than anything, with features such as activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. What makes Halo unique is its ability to track a wearer’s emotional state by listening to the tone of their voice, and also estimate a user’s body fat percentage by taking a three-dimensional render of their body.
It’s a departure from today’s most popular wearables, which offer general activity tracking features and also provide smartphone notifications for things like messages and phone calls. Also a departure from traditional wearables is Halo’s lack of GPS, Wi-Fi, and a cellular radio. It does, however, feature water resistance up to 5ATM and a battery that should last a week.
Amazon Halo also features an accelerometer, temperature sensor, heart rate monitor, two microphones, and an LED indicator light. These microphones are strictly for the voice tone feature and not for invoking Alexa, which isn’t supported. These microphones can be turned off with the press of a button.
The voice tone feature is particularly interesting. Amazon says Halo will pick up on the pitch, intensity, rhythm, and tempo of your voice, and then return insights into your emotional state. With a “notable moments” section in the smartphone app, you’ll see what you were like during an interview, conversation with mom, etc. According to Amazon, Halo won’t listen to your voice all the time, and when it does, no audio is uploaded to Amazon servers; humans are also not involved in any step of the way. Audio is sent to your phone via Bluetooth, and all analysis is handled there.
The 3D body scan feature is handled differently. When a user does create a 3D scan, pictures will be uploaded to Amazon’s servers but are deleted once a 3D scan is created. Amazon will employ machine learning models to analyze the scan and calculate your body fat percentage.
Amazon is hoping these features will be educational and motivational, providing users with information about how different levels of body fat can increase their risk for certain health problems. Users have to be 18 years or older to use the body scan feature, although users can be as young as 13 to use Halo.
Images: Amazon. Retrieved via: The Verge
Amazon Halo retails for $99 and ties into a service that costs $3.99 per month. This subscription will feature body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep and activity tracking, and challenges designed to improve a wearer’s health, whether it be through things like meditation or exercise. As an introductory price, Halo will be available for $64 and come with six months of complimentary service.
At launch, Amazon Halo will offer a variety of bands and also a variety of sizes. Halo comes in small, medium, and large, so you can find a fit that works for you. Amazon Halo is currently available in early access in Black + Onyx, Blush + Rose Gold, and Winter + Silver. The product can only ship to addresses in the United States.
Amazon Halo Technical Details
|Subscription||$99.99 device price with six month free subscription. After six months, your subscription will automatically renew at $3.99/month plus applicable tax. See terms of service to learn more.|
|Battery life||Up to 7 days (Tone disabled), up to 2 days (Tone enabled). Fully charges from 0% in less than 90 minutes. Battery life varies based on device settings and usage.|
|Water resistance||Swimproof; water resistant to 50M (5 atm). Learn more about water resistance.|
|Halo band/sensor colors||Black/Onyx, Winter/Silver, and Blush/Rose Gold|
|Band sizes||Fabric: Small (135-155 mm circumference), Medium (145-180mm circumference), Large (170-220 mm circumference), Sport: Small/Medium (130-180 mm circumference), Medium/Large (160-230 mm circumference)|
|Band material||Fabric: a woven blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex, Sport: high-performance silicone|
|Weight||Capsule: 18g, Band: 5.2g (S), 5.4g (M), 6.0g (L)|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, Serial Port Profile for Bluetooth connectivity to Android phones and iPod Accessory Protocol for Bluetooth connectivity to iPhones.|
|Audio||2 built-in microphones for Tone analysis|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty. Use of Amazon Halo is subject to Amazon’s Conditions of Use and the terms found here.|
|Included in box||Sensor, band, USB charging clip, and Quick Start Guide|
|Generation||1st Generation – 2020 Release|
|Bands||Interchangeable and available in a variety of colors and materials|
|Requirements||Active Amazon.com account, compatible mobile device, and the Halo app|