Amazon’s new Halo band will also chart your body fat and warn you if you’re too sedentary
By Caitlin Finlay
Expanding its tech presence, Amazon has entered the market of wearable fitness trackers with its new Halo fitness band. That it’s different from other wearable trackers is immediately evident—it has no screen. And while its abilities to track your sleep and activity, as well as to issue warnings if you’re too sedentary, are common features on fitness bands, Halo goes further and will also monitor your body composition and—by analyzing your voice—your mood.
The water-resistant band comes in silicone or a woven fabric blend of nylon, spandex, and polyester, and it works with an associated Halo app supported by a subscription service.
The “Body” feature allows users to measure body-fat percentage using their smartphone camera. From photos taken by the user, the Halo app will create a 3-D model and calculate the user’s body-fat percentage. Using the 3-D model, the user can see how different body-fat percentages could change their appearance. A limitation of the feature is reduced accuracy for those who are pregnant, in wheelchairs, with missing or prosthetic limbs, and those with more than 50% body fat or who weigh more than 500 pounds.
The “Tone” feature listens to a user’s voice over time and provides feedback about whether he or she was feeling positive or negative. It can also categorize interactions, describing a user’s mood at a given time as friendly, delighted, or overwhelmed, and provide suggestions to improve communication. Amazon says all recordings are deleted.
“Labs” offers workouts and challenges to improve both mental and physical health habits. Examples include meditation, yoga, heart healthy breakfast ideas, steps to lower stress, exercises to improve core strength and posture, and steps to help you fall asleep faster.
Launched at the end of August, the Halo band is currently available only on Amazon US. Amazon is offering a promotional price of $64.99 (US)—the regular price will be $99.99. The purchase of a band includes a free membership for six months, after which the supporting subscription costs an additional $3.99 per month. Customers can buy the band without a membership but will have access only to the basic features including heart rate, step count, and sleep time.