With Amazon’s new fitness wearable, called Halo, things are getting busier again in the world of fitness accessories. The Halo does things differently than the Apple Watch.
Amazon unveils Halo with subscription platform
The Halo Band is a relatively simple activity tracker without a screen. The wearable does have sensors, such as a temperature monitor, heart rate monitor and accelerometer. The band can be used with or without a subscription. Without a subscription, you just miss out on some advanced functions.
A little disclaimer in advance: Amazon’s Halo Band is now only available in the US. The date of the launch for the market is not yet known.
The Halo registers your mood and fat percentage
The tone is one of the advanced functions that subscribers can take advantage of. This tool tracks the sound of your voice with the Halo Band’s two built-in microphones. Every day, the wearable will record fragments of your voice at intervals.
With these recordings, Tone can analyze your voice and categorize it in different emotional states. Examples of categories are: hopeful, delighted, bored, apologetic, happy, and concerned. It is then possible, after the analysis of the app, to receive tips to sound more positive. No need for tips from the Halo app? Then it is also possible to mute the microphones of your wearable.
Another function, available only to subscribers, makes it possible to measure the body fat percentage. Amazon can compile a 3D scan with photos of the body. The app then calculates the corresponding body fat percentage by means of machine learning.
Amazon believes that body fat percentage says more about health than other metrics such as the well-known body mass index (BMI). This is not the only claim Amazon makes. The company also reports that Halo’s method of measuring body fat percentage is as accurate as a doctor’s examination. It is even possible to look a bit into the future via the app. With a slider, you can see how your body looks with less or more fat.
Count steps, earn points
Amazon has tackled the basic capabilities of the Halo Band in a unique way. This way, the bracelet not only counts the number of steps, but you can also earn points. The harder the activity, the more points you earn. This point system also works the other way around, so you can also lose points by hanging around too long. By introducing a points system, the company responds well to the playful nature of people. Keeping moving thus becomes a game.
Amazon is also thinking about mental health. Amazon also offers training through partnerships with organizations such as Headspace. Under the name Labs, the company helps develop healthy habits.
Finally, a critical look at privacy sensitivity. Amazon states that all data is encrypted in transit and in the cloud. In addition, the platform immediately removes all body scans and speech samples after the desired analysis.