Amazon enters the world of health and sports powerfully with Halo, a fitness band that does not have a screen, and works with a subscription model.
Everyone took it for granted, and today we can confirm it. Amazon could not stay out of the market for wearables dedicated to health and sports. Amazon has just introduced Halo, its first smart activity tracker.
What happens when you wear a fitness band without a screen?
It is a new device that distances itself from the most popular products, such as the Apple Watch or the Fitbit activity bands. For starters, Amazon Halo has no screen. And it also works with a subscription model.
Amazon Halo is, in essence, a fitness band: it tracks your steps, sleep or body temperature, but it also includes functions that are never seen before, such as the possibility of performing a scan of your body in 3D to obtain the body fat percentage, or a voice analyzer that analyzes your mood.
Amazon says that they have been working on this technology for years, hiring medical and fitness experts who have supervised all the functions.
Just for health and fitness, and also waterproof
The band itself is just a tracking device made of silicone, and since there is no screen, all information it gathers is sent to a mobile app. It is waterproof so it can be kept during the shower or while swimming. The idea is that you can wear it 24 hours a day.
It has an optical sensor, an LED light, a button to select functions, and a pair of microphones to analyze the voice.
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It does not offer any type of mobile notifications, music controls, or have any apps, etc. Its sole purpose is to track sports and health.
Looks at photos, tells body fat, listens to you, finds you sad
The Body Fat Percentage feature is new to this world, although this function is actually handled by the mobile app. You have to take pictures of the body from different angles, and an algorithm is responsible for calculating body fat, with monitoring functions that allow us to see how our body is evolving, as well as specific exercises and tips to reduce this fat.
Amazon ensures that all data and photos are processed locally, without uploading them to the cloud, and are deleted after they have been processed.
Another completely new function is what Amazon calls Tone, or Voice Tone: For this, the two microphones on the fitness band listen to our voice throughout the day, and by our tone analysis, it tells us if we are sad, tired, depressed, or irritated, as well as the times that we go from one state to another, and gives tips to get out of negative states.
The rest of its functions are more conventional, and we have already seen them in other similar devices. It works as an activity tracker, automatically detecting when running, or exercising. You just have to notify it with certain activities, such as swimming.
Amazon Halo employs a single, global scoring system for all activities. You can set a series of weekly points that are earned by doing all kinds of things, from climbing the stairs up and down to cleaning the house or going for a run. It distinguishes between light and intense exercise, and awards us points based on the intensity of our activities.
Not only it might tell you to get up and move, it will also punish you with negative points
A new feature is that, unlike other devices of this type, which only reward, Amazon Halo also punishes with negative points when we spend a lot of time sitting or without activity.
It also tracks sleep, with a body temperature meter that records changes during sleep, and statistics such as the time it takes for us to fall asleep, our quality of sleep, etc.
The Amazon Halo’s battery lasts 7 days, although it is reduced to 2 days if you analyze your voice tone. And it recharges in 90 minutes.
At the moment it is only for sale in the United States, and only through a subscription model. As a promotion, it costs $64.99 with a 6-month subscription. But its normal price will be $99.
This subscription entitles you to advanced statistics, lessons, fitness courses, medical analysis, and other content. After those 6 months, it costs $3.99 per month. If you do not renew the subscription we will only have access to simple heart rate, step counter and sleep measurements.