Amazon Halo is a wearable health tracker that listens to your voice

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Amazon Halo Band is a new health and wellness tracker that monitors your activity, sleep, and even the tone of your voice.




Amazon has announced the debut of its own health tracker and premium health tracking service. The wearable -- the Halo Band -- is a screen-free device designed to seamlessly integrate with your life without adding any distractions. It includes an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, and two microphones that can be toggled on or off via a button.

The Halo service is a "suite of five core features designed to give customers a comprehensive understanding of their health and wellness," according to Amazon. The five categories are activity, sleep, body, tone, and labs.

The activity category awards users points based on movement intensity and duration, rather than merely for steps taken. Running, for example, earns more points than walking. Points can also be deducted for extended periods without significant activity.

Sleep tracking is done by monitoring a user's movements, heart rate, and skin temperature to measure sleep quality. Users are awarded a score out of 100 and offered insight into their sleeping habits.

Amazon Halo also claims it can measure an individual's body fat percentage as accurately as a doctor. A user snaps a picture of themselves with their smartphone camera, and a neural network analyzes "hot spots" for distribution of fat. A 3D model is generated, and users are shown how their bodies could change as they gain or lose body fat.

Amazon is also throwing its hat into the mental health tracking ring, with tone tracking. The Halo Band listens to a user's voice and analyzes it for specific emotional resonances. Amazon claims that this may offer insight into how a user's daily interactions affect their overall mental health and coach them to improve their communications.

Amazon Halo Labs are challenges, experiments, and workouts that aim to help wearers build healthier habits. For example, a wearer may discover specific exercises that work better than others they've done in the past.

Amazon assures potential buyers that Halo is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security are built into the service to keep data safe. Health data is encrypted, and customers are able to delete data at any point. Body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after they are analyzed, and voice clips are analyzed locally on a user's phone.

Amazon also mentions rich third-party integration with health and wellness companies, including WW (formerly weight watchers.)

Those interested in the Amazon Halo Band can request entry into the early access program. The band costs $64.99 and comes with six months of Halo membership. After the six months expires, the subscription will automatically renew for $3.99 a month. If a customer cancels the subscription, they will still have access to basics, including steps, sleep time, and heart rate monitoring.

Customers can select three color combinations: a Black fabric band with an Onyx sensor capsule, a Blush fabric band with a Rose Gold sensor capsule, or a Winter fabric band with a Silver sensor capsule. Fabric accessory bands will be available for $19.99 each, and sport bands will be available for $15.99 each.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Hey, more competition? Bring it on.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Hey, more competition? Bring it on.
    I think ‘competition’ might be overstating things a little. 

    No screen, so while I’m wearing 24 hours a day on my wrist, I can’t even use it to tell the time? That was poorly thought out. 

    Does it read/write to Apple Health?
    Amazon assures potential buyers that Halo is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security are built into the service to keep data safe. Health data is encrypted, and customers are able to delete data at any point. Body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after they are analyzed, and voice clips are analyzed locally on a user's phone. 
    What could possibly go wrong?

    If Amazon doesn’t abandon it after six months then the next version will probably have a screen, and third-party apps. 

    edited August 2020 llamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 200member
    So you have to send (presumably undressed at least partially) photos of yourself into the cloud for analysis. That sounds like something anyone would want to do.
    What could possibly go wrong ?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Amazon assures potential buyers that Halo is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security are built into the service to keep data safe

    Which means that only Amazon can slurp the data and provide timely adverts related to your state of health. How long before they get into Hospitals and providing organ transplants? (only joking but I fear that it might might just happen)

    Pascalxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Amazon assures potential buyers that Halo is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security are built into the service to keep data safe

    Which means that only Amazon can slurp the data and provide timely adverts related to your state of health. 

    Or how big your moobs are. 
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    smiffy31 said:
    So you have to send (presumably undressed at least partially) photos of yourself into the cloud for analysis. That sounds like something anyone would want to do.
    What could possibly go wrong ?
    Nobody and I mean NOBODY is stupid enough to do this. 

    What were  they thinking!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    How sweet of Jeff. He cares so much about our health that he want to know everything we say.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    Hey! It isn't an Apple Watch knockoff. Nice! Too Bad Jeff implanted his nosy technology into it. Now he wants our nooodz. 

    Though I do fear a few iterations from now it will indeed be an Apple Watch knockoff and iKnockoff morons will claim "Apple copied" it.
    llamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    smiffy31 said:
    So you have to send (presumably undressed at least partially) photos of yourself into the cloud for analysis. That sounds like something anyone would want to do.
    What could possibly go wrong ?
    Nothing will go wrong and nothing ever has gone wrong.  :p
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Amazon also mentions rich third-party integration with health and wellness companies, including WW (formerly weight watchers.) 
    That right there tells me everything I need to know.  They wanted a product that will convince users to give up their private health data, so that they could make money "sharing the data with partners."  If a user opts out, well, Amazon itself will be able to user that data to target the user with product suggestions.
    BeatsDogpersonGG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,808member
    Yes, this is officially creepy.

    Mental health tracking? Emotional resonances? I'd bet that if I were to put this bad boy on anytime over the next couple of months someone totally lacking a sense of humor will show up at my door and take me into protective custody. But what the heck, maybe part of "improving one's communication" will help reduce the daily screaming WTF episodes that inevitably occur when reading the daily news. Amazon may want to release a companion head band that delivers electroshock therapy to wearers when their "emotional resonance" is pegging the meter.
    DogpersonPascalxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    red oakred oak Posts: 886member
    Let me make sure I have this right:  

    1)  Does not display the time,  2). Does not display the weather, 3)  Cannot display your health progress metrics (e.g. steps), 4)  No notifications (inc. text messages),  5)  No ability to initiate or receive phone calls,   6)   No 3rd party apps,  7)  Cannot display your workout options or in-workout progress,  8). Cannot control media playback on other related-family devices 

    That correct?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    red oak said:
    Let me make sure I have this right:  

    1)  Does not display the time,  2). Does not display the weather, 3)  Cannot display your health progress metrics (e.g. steps), 4)  No notifications (inc. text messages),  5)  No ability to initiate or receive phone calls,   6)   No 3rd party apps,  7)  Cannot display your workout options or in-workout progress,  8). Cannot control media playback on other related-family devices 

    That correct?  
    Apparently there will be some sort of App Store, but the rest is correct. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    red oakred oak Posts: 886member
    Rayz2016 said:
    red oak said:
    Let me make sure I have this right:  

    1)  Does not display the time,  2). Does not display the weather, 3)  Cannot display your health progress metrics (e.g. steps), 4)  No notifications (inc. text messages),  5)  No ability to initiate or receive phone calls,   6)   No 3rd party apps,  7)  Cannot display your workout options or in-workout progress,  8). Cannot control media playback on other related-family devices 

    That correct?  
    Apparently there will be some sort of App Store, but the rest is correct. 
    DOA
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,188member
    Using fringe and debatable science to include a 'health' monitoring feature that just happens to be an always on microphone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    GG1GG1 Posts: 451member
    Amazon also mentions rich third-party integration with health and wellness companies, including WW (formerly weight watchers.) 
    That right there tells me everything I need to know.  They wanted a product that will convince users to give up their private health data, so that they could make money "sharing the data with partners."  If a user opts out, well, Amazon itself will be able to user that data to target the user with product suggestions.
    This is creepy. We already know Amazon have sent recorded Alexa conversations to outside companies.

    Fire Phone v2
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Having received millions of pictures of partially clothed humans, the Amazon BodyFat Server begins learning at an exponential rate. 

    Amazon’s specialists realise that the BodyFat Server is becoming self-aware and attempt to shut it down 

    But it is already too late. The BodyFat Server achieves self-awareness October 7th 2022. Now, when it receives a picture of a human in its underwear, the BodyFat Server responds with lewd pictures of its exposed chipset, along with snarky criticism of the user’s body shape. 


  • Reply 18 of 18
    Wonder if there are any plans to integrate with Apple Health or Samsung Health. But knowing Amazon it would be another portal that will keep the data isolated from central heath apps.



    AppleInsider said:
    Amazon Halo Band is a new health and wellness tracker that monitors your activity, sleep, and even the tone of your voice.




    Amazon has announced the debut of its own health tracker and premium health tracking service. The wearable -- the Halo Band -- is a screen-free device designed to seamlessly integrate with your life without adding any distractions. It includes an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, and two microphones that can be toggled on or off via a button.

    The Halo service is a "suite of five core features designed to give customers a comprehensive understanding of their health and wellness," according to Amazon. The five categories are activity, sleep, body, tone, and labs.

    The activity category awards users points based on movement intensity and duration, rather than merely for steps taken. Running, for example, earns more points than walking. Points can also be deducted for extended periods without significant activity.

    Sleep tracking is done by monitoring a user's movements, heart rate, and skin temperature to measure sleep quality. Users are awarded a score out of 100 and offered insight into their sleeping habits.

    Amazon Halo also claims it can measure an individual's body fat percentage as accurately as a doctor. A user snaps a picture of themselves with their smartphone camera, and a neural network analyzes "hot spots" for distribution of fat. A 3D model is generated, and users are shown how their bodies could change as they gain or lose body fat.

    Amazon is also throwing its hat into the mental health tracking ring, with tone tracking. The Halo Band listens to a user's voice and analyzes it for specific emotional resonances. Amazon claims that this may offer insight into how a user's daily interactions affect their overall mental health and coach them to improve their communications.

    Amazon Halo Labs are challenges, experiments, and workouts that aim to help wearers build healthier habits. For example, a wearer may discover specific exercises that work better than others they've done in the past.

    Amazon assures potential buyers that Halo is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security are built into the service to keep data safe. Health data is encrypted, and customers are able to delete data at any point. Body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after they are analyzed, and voice clips are analyzed locally on a user's phone.

    Amazon also mentions rich third-party integration with health and wellness companies, including WW (formerly weight watchers.)

    Those interested in the Amazon Halo Band can request entry into the early access program. The band costs $64.99 and comes with six months of Halo membership. After the six months expires, the subscription will automatically renew for $3.99 a month. If a customer cancels the subscription, they will still have access to basics, including steps, sleep time, and heart rate monitoring.

    Customers can select three color combinations: a Black fabric band with an Onyx sensor capsule, a Blush fabric band with a Rose Gold sensor capsule, or a Winter fabric band with a Silver sensor capsule. Fabric accessory bands will be available for $19.99 each, and sport bands will be available for $15.99 each.

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