Amazon introduces Halo fitness bracelet with focus on health measurements

Amazon has released its first fitness bracelet, called Halo Band. The device is accompanied by software to measure the health of the user, including voice analysis and calculation of fat percentage.

The Halo Band does not have a screen on board, so health measurements have to be read via a paired smartphone. Support for Android and iOS is built in. However, Amazon has provided the fitness bracelet with an accelerometer, a heart rate monitor, two microphones and an LED. Despite having two microphones, Amazon has no support for the Alexa voice service built in.

The device takes measurements in different ways; the user’s activities are tracked, sleep quality can be measured and it is possible to measure the percentage of body fat using the smartphone camera. For this purpose, a 3D image of the body is taken through a number of photos, after which calculations are done by Amazon’s software. According to the manufacturer, this is as accurate as a fat percentage measurement at the general practitioner.

In addition, it is possible to have the voice analysed through the built-in microphones. For example, the Halo software can recognise stress in the voice, and according to Amazon, the feature should help users better understand how they look to other people.

There is also support built in for Labs, a component where third parties can offer their own measurements, exercises or challenges through the bracelet. For example, there are all kinds of exercises by health organisations that can be turned on.

Amazon is the first to release the Halo Band in the United States, with it currently in an early access program. The bracelet will cost $65 instead of the usual $100, including a six-month subscription to the Halo service. After that, it costs $4 a month. Without a Halo subscription, users can only count steps, analyse sleep patterns, and measure heart rate. It is not yet known when the Halo Band will come to Europe.