For some years now, the well-known company Amazon has left room for the sole resale of books to sell other items and produce electronic devices. Among these, devices with Alexa such as Echo dot, Echo Auto , Fire TV , kindle and tablet certainly stand out. Lately Amazon has also started the production of the fitness bracelet: Halo Band. The device was born from Amazon's experience in artificial intelligence and the desire to invent a band that improves the health of the population, since currently no band has succeeded in this purpose.
Amazon's Halo Band isn't the simple fitness band we're used to. It is in fact able to help you improve sleep, movements, tones and sensations. Compared to other bands, Halo is able to measure your body fat and make a 3D model of your body. Halo provides the same accuracy as clinical instruments, even greater than a smart weight scale, at a much lower cost.
Like other bands, the Amazon Halo Band consists of a capsule containing the sensors. Halo Band does not have a screen and interfaces with a proprietary app also called Halo. The sensor capsule contains an accelerometer, temperature sensor, heart rate monitor, LED indicator and two microphones inside.
The Amazon Halo app
The app combines the data collected by the sensors and uses them for 5 main characteristics:
- Activity: Monitor your health not only based on the number of steps taken but based on the intensity of your workout and duration . Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, temperature and LED sensors are used in this feature. Each week the user is stimulated to reach at least 150 points, which vary according to the type of slack.
- Sleep: monitors the time of wakefulness and sleep in the various phases (light, REM and deep). For this functionality we use temperature sensors, accelerometer (monitors movement in sleep, disturbed sleep index) and sensors to measure heart rate. In the morning, Halo provides a sleep indicator by assigning a score on a scale of 100. There is also a graph showing the progress of sleep phases and temperature indications.
- Body: measures the percentage of body fat, a more functional indicator than the BMI. Amazon's challenge to measure fat with artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques instead of with specific tools. Halo results are as accurate as medical devices and about twice as accurate as smart scales. To do this, you need to provide Halo with a series of consecutive 360 ° body photos.
- Tone: Monitors social and emotional health. The two microphones and artificial intelligence techniques analyze the energy and positivity in the user's voice to understand his interface with society, improving communication and relationships. Tone is not a default feature, in fact it is necessary for the user to enable it and record his voice under normal conditions to use it as a comparison sample in the calculation of mood and relational. With Tono there are 3 different analysis functions: in real time with immediate feedback in the app; bookmark mode which records continuously but delivers results in the band only at the end; default mode that occasionally captures parts of speech.
- Laboratories: a feature still under development with the aim of creating customizable skills to increase the level of health.
Technical details of Halo Band
Like many other bands, the Halo Band is also waterproof, up to 50 meters (5 atmospheres). The battery can last from 7 days (tone mode off) to 2 days (tone on), with a charging time from 0% to 100% in 90 minutes. At the sale Halo Band is already charged and the box includes the strap, sensor, USB charging and user guide. The innovative and elegant strap in polyester, nylon and spandex are available in black, silver, pink colors of different sizes and also a sporty style of silicone. The strap is designed not to irritate the skin or cause discomfort during the night by getting caught. There are also several interchangeable straps available to create a different look every day.
Halo Band is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 with serial port to connect it to Android devices and an accessory protocol to connect it to iPod. To use Amazon Halo Band you need to have an active account on amazon.com, iOS 12.0+ or Android 7-0 + and the Halo app.
The device is available for sale for $ 64.99 but you can add 6 months of subscription for a total of $ 99. After 6 months, the subscription is renewed for $ 3.99 per month. By not renewing your subscription, you can keep access to basic sleep time, heart rate and step tracking.
Amazon Halo Band and the Halo membership are free for users of the John Hancock Vitality Wellness Program. Weight Watchers members can link the two accounts and access the WW Labs at any time via the Halo app. Amazon Halo is also integrated into Cernet solutions to allow consumers to share their health information with care teams and integrate the data into the electronic folder. You can stop sharing with third parties by simply logging out. Despite these collaborations, Amazon does not share data with companies that can be traced back to specific or easily traceable natural persons .
Privacy by Amazon design
Will Halo listen to my speeches all the time? Where are the photos of my body saved? Who reads my data? Amazon answered all of these questions. In fact, Halo does not store audio or photos.
In the default Tone mode the microphones are not constantly active but can be deactivated with a button, collecting only random samples. To demonstrate this, the LED will glow blue in bookmark and default mode; when they are deactivated with the button, the LED will flash red for 3 seconds; upon reactivation, it will flash green. The vocal samples are analyzed locally in the app, they are not saved in the clouds and not even the user can listen to them again. The band can record up to one hour in a row and keep it in memory for 3 days until it connects to the app in the phone, if not, it deletes the data. Furthermore the band deletes the data as soon as it sends it via Bluetooth to the smartphone. In the continuous recording mode, on the other hand, the data is stored in the smartphone and deleted immediately after processing.
The photos are processed in the cloud but deleted immediately after processing, leaving only one local copy available for the user who can decide whether to delete it or save it on the smartphone. It is possible to create a copy of the images in the cloud, only if the user does not want to lose the 3D model when changing the phone. The storage is completely secure as the data is encrypted in transit and on disk. A one-time passcode is also available to hide them from anyone with your account credentials. The user can decide to delete their information from the cloud at any time.
Amazon has also created a function to let the user control the data. Under “Settings> Health data in the app”, you can download and delete all or part of the saved data. Saved data includes fitness metrics, heart rate, sleep data, body scan images, 3D body models, body fat percentage, measurements and weight, tone descriptors, highlights and trends, and demographic information. In the item “Settings> Voice ID” it is also possible to delete the Tone voice profile created initially.