In a surprise move, Amazon has launched its own health and fitness accessory band called the Halo Band. It's a direct competitor to Fitbit's fitness trackers, but can be a good complement to smart watches like Apple Watch. Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's Halo Band.
What is the Amazon Halo Band?
The Halo Band is purposely built to help users focus on health and wellness, unlike smart watches and other fitness trackers. To do so, there is no screen, so you do not get distracted with notifications from your smartphone. A small sensor capsule is tucked away under the band, and this sensor delivers highly accurate data about the wearer's heart rate, temperature, and more. The sensor features an accelerometer, temperature sensor, heart rate monitor, two microphones, an LED indicator light, and a button that turns the microphones on or off, as well as other functions of the Halo.
Since the Halo Band is water-resistant, it's great for all day wear, especially during sweaty workouts. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 7-days on a single charge, and can go from zero to 100% in about 90 minutes.
What colors, materials, and sizes does the Amazon Halo Band come in?
On launch, the Amazon Halo Band has three fabric colors to choose from: Black fabric band + Onyx sensor capsule, Blush fabric band + Rose Gold capsule, and Winter fabric band + Silver sensor capsule. Only fabric is available on launch. There are six more fabric colors being sold as separate accessory bands, and these will be sold at a special early access price of $19.99 each. The colors include: Denim, Hummingbird, Mint Edge, Olive, Unicorn, and Volcano.
Amazon will also have silicone sport accessory bands, at the special early access price of $15.99 each, in nine more colors: Ash, Black, Dark Mint, Domino, Lavender, Pink Slate, Seafoam, Sunset, and White.
The Amazon Halo Band is available in three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. Small fits wrist circumference 5.25-to-6-inches, medium 5.75-to-7-inches, and large 6.75-to-7.75-inches.
How does the Amazon Halo Band work?
The Amazon Halo Band uses the new Amazon Halo service. Amazon Halo is a combination suite of several AI-powered health tools that are inside the Halo Band's sensor. These health tools provide actionable insights into the overall health and wellness of the user thanks to the sensor. The data revolves around five core areas, and all data is accessible from the Amazon Halo app. The five cores are: Activity, Sleep, Body, Tone, and Labs.
There is a monthly membership fee for the Amazon Halo service, which is $3.99 a month plus tax. You will need to contact Amazon Customer Service to cancel.
So what about these five core areas that the Amazon Halo Band revolves around?
Activity is the first one, and Amazon Halo uses the latest American Heart Association's physical activity guidelines and latest medical research to award points for users. This means that while you'll earn points for walking, you'll earn more points for running. Medical guidelines also suggest that a sedentary lifestyle has a negative impact, so Amazon Halo actually deducts one point for every hour over eight hours of sedentary time (outside of sleep).
Sleep is the next one. The Amazon Halo Band will use motion, heart rate, and temperature data to measure the time you're asleep and the time you're awake. Amazon Halo also gets insights into various phases of sleep, like deep, light, and REM.
Body is an interesting one. Amazon seems to have developed new innovations and machine learning with the Halo service that allow customers to measure their body fat percentage at home, with accuracy comparable to doctor's offices. Amazon also claims that it is twice as accurate over leading at-home smart scales.
Tone relates to your voice, and this measures your social and emotional well-being. With Tone, it utilizes machine learning to analyze energy and positivity in your voice, which helps you better understand how you may sound to others. This can help improve overall communication and relationships.
Labs is the last one, and these are science-backed challenges, experiments, and workouts that are geared towards the user and their specific needs. This is to help you build healthier habits over time. You can choose from labs made by Amazon Halo experts, or from other professional brands and personalities like Adaptiv, 8fit, American Heart Association, Harvard Health Publishing, Headspace, Lifesum, Mayo Clinic, and more.
Will the Amazon Halo Band keep my data private?
Amazon claims that privacy is the foundation of the Amazon Halo service. There are multiple layers of privacy and security built-in to the service itself, so all data should be safe and secure, and completely in the customer's control. Health data gets encrypted in transit and while in the cloud, allowing users to download or delete their information at any time directly from the Amazon Halo app.
It's also important to note that the body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after processing — only the user can see the scan.
Are there going to be third-party integrations with Amazon Halo Band?
Yes, third-party integrations will be available with the Amazon Halo Band. Amazon is collaborating with leading health and wellness companies, allowing users to connect their Amazon Halo account with other apps and services. The account linking for integration is completely opt-in, and you can back out at any time.
When can I get an Amazon Halo Band and how much is it?
Right now, the Amazon Halo Band is only available via Early Access. You can request to get in with Early Access by answering a short questionnaire, and if you are selected, Amazon will email you with further instructions on how to purchase your Amazon Halo Band. Early Access is being granted on a rolling basis, so be patient.
Normally, the Amazon Halo Band will cost $100, but during the Early Access period, it is available for just $65. Purchasing the Amazon Halo Band also gets you six months of the Amazon Halo service for free.
How much is the Amazon Halo subscription?
After the first six months of free membership that come with the Halo Band purchase, Amazon Halo will renew at a rate of $3.99 plus tax per month. You can cancel at any time, but this must be done through Amazon customer service.
Members of Amazon Halo get access to all features of the Halo Band. Non-members will only be able to access the basics, like steps, sleep time, and heart rate.
A new approach to health and well-being
The Amazon Halo Band is certainly an exciting new product launch from Amazon. We're eager to get our hands on one, so stay tuned! We'll update this page with more info as we learn how it works.
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