Amazon is also entering into the health gadget market with a new fitness band cum app with some different features and subscription service called HALO. Unlike the Apple watch or even all the essential other fitbits, the Amazon halo band does not come up with a screen in the same band. The app that will go along with it comes with some standard set of fitness tracking features including two innovative and potentially troubling ideas. In contrast, the first one is using your camera to create a 3D image of your body fat, and the other is listing for the emotion in your voice. The Halo band will automatically detect the work like walking and running but not all other exercises.
The cost of the HALO band is $99.99, and the service costs $3.99 per month, which will be essential for using Halo’s more advanced features. But as a part of good news, Amazon is launching it as an invite-only early access program today with an introductory price of $64.99 that includes free six months services.
The lack of a screen on Halo band is the first indicator which shows that Amazon is offering little focus on sports but likely more focused on lifestyle changes.
Not only on cardio, sleep, body, fat and voice tone tracking, a Halo subscription will also offer a suite of “labs” which is developed by partners. They are designed as a short challenge which will improve your health habits such as meditation, sleeping habits, and also starting up basic exercise routines of yours. But Halo band is not any medical device.
The Halo band is designed in such a way that it will look like an ordinary band, but it consists of a sensor module and a band that clicks into it on top. It has a simple concept that we have seen in the earlier band also but due to lack of display screen means if you wanted to check your steps or time than you need to strap something to your wrist and check your phone.
The band is meant to be a more laid-back kind of tracker. It encompasses two microphones, an LED indicator light, accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, and a button to show the microphones on or off. But the microphone is not for speaking to Alexa, but it is there for the voice tone feature. It communicates through Bluetooth via phone and works equally good with both iPhone and android phone.
Halo band is mainly available in three colours which are onyx (black), mineral (light blue), and rose gold (pink-ish). The battery life of the Halo band will last for a full week, and the sensor is water-resistant up to 5ATM. And it’s called “swim-proof.” But this time Halo service differs itself with two new attributes, i.e. body and tone.
The band uses your smartphone camera to capture a 3D scan of your body and then calculate your body fat. The app instructs you to wear tight-fitting clothing and then stand back six feet or so from your camera. After that, it captures our four photos from the front, ago, and both sides and uploads them to Amazon’s servers and then they’re combined into a 3D scan of your body that is sent back to your phone. But for security and privacy concerns the data is then deleted from Amazon’s servers.
Once the 3D pictures are ready, Amazon uses a machine learning to analyze and calculate the fat of our body. Body fat percentage is a more accurate indicator of health than weight or body mass index. Halo band uses Artificial intelligence in Amazon’s cloud to create the 3D scan and calculate body fat percentage. Although anybody from 13 years of age and up can use the Halo Band, the body scan feature will only be allowed for people 18 or older.
The microphone of Halo band is not meant for voice command of yours, but instead, it listens to your voice and reports back what it believes about your emotional balance throughout the day, but if you don’t opt for that then it will not work. Once you opt for voice, the Halo app will read your text back to it so that it can train a model on your voice, allowing the Halo band only to recognize only your voice instead of those around you.
It recognizes the pitch, intensity, rhythm, and tempo of your voice and then categorizes each of them into “notable moments” that you can go back and review throughout of your day. Some of the emotional situations include words like hopeful, elated, hesitant, bored, embarrassed, happy, worried, confused, and affectionate.
SOME THOUGHT ABOUT PRIVACY
Every feature is opt-in, to off or delete it available in this.
You can download or delete any data fon Halo app, even you can reset it to zero as well.
Body scan and tone data can be deleted individually, and all other data will remain as it is like step count etc.
Body scans are deleted after 12 hours from Amazon servers, and images are never shared with other apps like a photo gallery.
Voice tone is analyzed locally from your phone and Amazons make sure that it will not be used for training purpose and are not uploaded on the cloud.
OTHER ACTIVITY TRACKING:
Halo band also tracks your cardio fitness every week. It does count steps as well. It uses its heart monitor to differentiate between intense, moderate, and light activity. The app combines those to ensure you’re hitting a weekly target.
Halo app is a curious mix. In comparison to competitors, it’s hardware is intentionally less intrusive and less feature-rich. It body scanning feature goes more up other than any other band and directly digitizing your self-image. And the emotion tracking with Tone is entirely new and more than a little weird.