Amazon has just launched a new service dedicated to health and fitness and the company is offering it via a band called Halo. The subscription service offers a range of health metrics like activity, sleep, body fat, and tone of voice analysis. The service is already available for early access.
The band's appearance is quite similar to a Fitbit tracker. It also has temperature sensing and a microphone. It has one button and interestingly, no screen as all the data that it tracks will be available to view on the service's mobile app.
The membership costs $65 for the first six months and $3.99 a month after that. The subscription allows access to the basic fitness band that tracks heart rate, steps, and temperature.
The Halo band is able to do a body fat analysis via a smartphone camera. Halo focuses the body fat percentage which is less volatile as compared to weight, which can fluctuate on the basis of factors like humidity, medication, menstrual cycle, illness, etc.
To get your body fat analyzed via Halo, all you have to do is take a photo of yourself from your phone's camera. Halo will scan the photo, calculate body fat percent based on body indicators, and generate a 3D model of your body. The app recommends taking a photo while wearing minimal form-fitting clothes. The process is fast and easy, and saves you from running to a lab to get a body composition analysis.
Amazon also ensures that the photos taken will stay on your phone and will not be shared with anyone, including the company. As explained by Amazon, "the images are processed in the cloud, but encrypted in transit and processed within seconds, after which they're automatically deleted from Amazon's systems and databases. All scan images are fully deleted within 12 hours. The scan images aren't viewed by anyone at Amazon and aren't used for machine learning optimizations.".
The second most prominent feature of Halo is the voice tone analysis. With that, the device will identify how you sound to others. Two built-in mics in the band's system capture both audio and emotional cues. Moreover, it does not focus on the content of the conversation, but the tone of delivery. The band will take periodic samples of your speech throughout the day once you enable the feature. The mics can be enabled by tapping the side button and when a mic goes off, a red LED will light up on the band.
The voice scanner in the device will deliver analysis with related emotional-tone words like ''happy'' or ''concerned''. This feature is aimed to help guide you to deliver better tones of voice and speaking styles. Amazon ensures that the voice samples will be encrypted and stored on your devices only and will be deleted once the analysis is over.
With Halo's sleep analysis, you can view a breakdown of different stages of your sleep and receive an overall sleep score. The device will also keep track of your body temperature as you sleep, create a baseline, and chart your average temperature each night relative to your baseline temperature. The analysis will help identify variations that can possibly affect your health and the quality of your sleep.
The basic activity tracking on Halo will automatically detect your walks and runs, while for any other workouts, you will have to tag them in the app manually. Doing any type of movement or activity will get you rewards and more intense workouts will get your more points. The activity analysis is not on a daily, but a weekly basis.
In addition to all of that, Amazon is also offering multiweek health and fitness goals through its Halo service that you can opt into. For the record, while Halo is partnered with services like OrangeTheory and Weight Watchers, it does not integrate Google or Apple.