Amazon Releases Halo, First Fitness Band that Also Tracks Mental Health
Amazon recently launched its first fitness and wellness band, which uses artificial intelligence to give users a “comprehensive understanding of their health and wellness.” According to the tech giant, this unique fitness band can measure your body fat percentage, sleep health, tone of voice, and much more. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Amazon Halo, including the release date, price, and everything it can do to help you lead a healthier life.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Amazon Halo is that it doesn’t have a screen. Instead, you will get notifications, analytics, and other features through the companion app on your mobile phone or tablet.
The fitness band is either made of woven fabric or silicone, and it is designed to be worn all day and night. The lack of a screen indicates that Amazon is trying to create a new kind of fitness tracker. Instead of sending you notifications about how many steps you take, the Halo is focused on helping you understand your long-term habits and make changes to your lifestyle.
Under the fitness band, there is a small sensor that has an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, and a heart rate monitor to capture your health data. There are also two microphones in the device that are used to analyze the tone of your voice. And, if you’re worried about privacy, there’s also a button that turns off the microphones.
How Amazon Halo Can Help You Lose Weight
Unlike other fitness trackers, Amazon Halo awards you points based on the intensity and duration of your movements, not just the number of steps you take. For example, you will be awarded more points for running than walking.
To help you stay healthy, Halo gives you a goal of reaching 150 points each week. You can earn points for any activities that you do, but you will also be docked for sitting around. While you are awake, Halo will deduct one point for every hour over an eight hour period that you are not active.
Amazon Halo can also calculate your body fat percentage (BFP). All you need to do is take a series of four photos with your smartphone. Then the Halo app will analyze your body fat and give you tips on how to lose weight.
According to Amazon, your body fat percentage is “a better overall indicator of health and longevity than weight or BMI” (body mass index). This is because BFP has a greater ability to discriminate between fat and lean mass than BMI.
To get a BFP measurement, you would normally have to get a prescription and pay an average of $80 per scan. Amazon claims that the Halo’s ability to calculate your BFP is just as accurate as a doctor and twice as accurate as the leading smart home scales.
How the Amazon Halo Helps with Sleep Health
Since the Amazon Halo sensors can measure your heart rate, motion, and skin temperature, it can help you determine how well you sleep at night. The app will be able to analyze your sleep patterns and give you suggestions from experts on how to improve your sleeping habits.
How the Amazon Halo Helps with Emotional Health
To give you a complete understanding of your overall health, Halo also analyzes the tone of your voice when talking with others. Amazon says this feature will help users “understand how they sound to others, helping improve their communication and relationships.”
Using machine learning, Halo can analyze the pitch, intensity, tempo, and rhythm of your voice to help you better determine when you sound happy, nervous, confused, bored, and more. The app can also tell you what might have triggered a particular tone of voice and how to improve the way you talk to people.
Amazon says this feature can help you prepare for a meeting to make sure you are using the right tone. Or you can also use this feature to make sure you are not taking your stress out on friends and family members.
Wellness Challenges and Experiments
Amazon has partnered with popular brands and fitness personalities to come up with a feature called Labs. These are challenges, experiments, and workouts aimed at helping you build healthier habits.
With Labs, you will be able to find exercises, routines, and wellness habits that work specifically for you. For example, Amazon Halo might suggest that you give yoga a try to reduce stress or cut out afternoon caffeine to get better sleep. These suggestions come from experts at the American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Weight Watchers, and more.
Amazon stresses that it has taken the necessary steps to keep your data private and secure. The tech giant claims that Halo has multiple layers of privacy and security built-in. And it claims that your images and voice samples are automatically deleted after being processed.
For example, when you take photos to calculate your body fat percentage, you will be the only person who has access to the images. Once the image is processed, it will be immediately be deleted from the cloud.
As for the voice tone tool, your audio will never even reach the cloud. Your voice samples will be automatically deleted after being processed on your phone. And, when you want more privacy, you can turn off your mics at any time by pressing the button on the Halo band.
All your other data, such as your health, activity, and sleep information, will be encrypted. This means no one will be able to read the data while it is in transit or on Amazon’s servers. Amazon also lets you opt-out of data sharing in order to protect your privacy further.
Water-Resistance & Battery Life
Amazon Halo is water-resistant for up to 50 meters, which means you can wear it in the rain or when you go swimming. It has a battery that lasts for up to seven days, and it only takes 90 minutes to fully charge.
How Much Is the Amazon Halo?
While the Amazon Halo will sell for $99.99, you can get it for the early access price of only $64.99 now. This includes a free six-month membership that normally costs $3.99 per month if you want to have full access to Halo’s tools and features.
The monthly membership comes with premium features that help you lose weight, get better sleep, analyze your tone of voice, and more. If you opt-out of this membership plan, you can still use the band for its basic features, including sleep time, heart rate, and step tracking.
Release & Availability
There is no final word yet on when the Amazon Halo will be released. You can request to be part of the early access by answering a few questions on the Amazon listing. If Amazon approves your request, you will receive an email with further instructions.
If you’re not sure about the Amazon Halo, check out our list of the best free nutrition apps to help you stay fit instead.