Amazon announces halo, a fitness band and app that scans your body and voice

Amazon 's new fitness band and subscription service called Halo is entering the health gadgets market. The Amazon Halo Band doesn’t have a screen, unlike the Apple Watch or even most basic Fitbits. The app that accompanies it comes with the usual set of fitness tracking features along with two innovative — and potentially troubling — ideas: using your camera to create 3D body fat scans and listening to your voice 's emotions.

The Halo Band, “is not a medical device,” tells me Amazon. As such, it has not submitted the device to the FDA for approval of any kind, including the “FDA clearance” lighter-touch that so many other fitness bands have used.

THE HALO BAND HARDWARE

The Halo Band consists of a sensor module and a band on top of which clicks in.

The Halo Band’s three colour choices There will, of course, be a set of optional bands, so you can pick one to fit your style — and they all have no small resemblance to famous Apple Watch bands.

The former uses your mobile camera to record your body’s 3D scan and then measure your body fat, and the latter uses a Halo Band microphone to listen to your voice tone and report back during the day on your emotional state.

BODY SCANS

Body scans operate with the camera just on your mobile. Last but not least, while the Halo Band can be used by anyone 13 years of age and up, the body scan feature would only be available for people 18 or older. Amazon uses machine learning to test it once you have the 3D scan, and measure the percentage of body fat.
Amazon claims that the proportion of body fat is a more accurate health measure than either the weight or the body mass index.

when asked Amazon specifically about this and the company says it has placed a few precautions in what it hopes: the app advises that you only check yourself every two weeks, it won’t let the slider reveal extremely low levels of body fat, and it has details about how low body fat can increase the risk for certain health problems.

Then it takes four images (front, back, and both sides) and uploads them to Amazon 's servers where they are merged into your phone’s 3D scan of your body.

TRACKING THE TONE OF YOUR VOICE

It’s a passive, sporadic device, which means you can’t consciously ask it to read your speech, and it doesn’t listen all the time.

Tone has been based on American English but it’s just day one and Tone will keep improving.
Amazon is swift to remember that no humans can upload your voice to any server and never hear it. You can also mute the microphone at any time by pressing the button until a red blinking LED appears momentarily to inform you that it is muted.
Amazon says the Halo software deletes the voice samples directly after it analyses them for your emotional state. Some of the emotional states include words like hopeful, elated, hesitant, bored, apologetic, happy, worried, confused, and affectionate.

DATA PRIVACY

Body scans and tone data may be separately deleted from the rest of your health data.

Your Halo profile is distinct from your Amazon account — and it will need to be activated individually with a second factor like a text message, so that anyone else who might share your Amazon Prime will not be able to access it.

"Voice samples are stored locally and never submitted to the cloud," says Amazon, adding that “Tone data will not be used for training purposes.” Data can be shared with third parties, including certain partners such as the WW (formerly Weight Watchers).

ACTIVITY AND SLEEP TRACKING

The Halo Band uses its heart monitor to differentiate between activity that is extreme, moderate and mild. The app combines those to ensure that you hit a target weekly. Instead of asking the hourly “stand” of the Apple Watch, the Halo app tracks how long you’ve been “sedentary.” If you’re going for more than eight hours without doing much (not counting sleep), the app will start deducting from your weekly score of activities.

HALO LABS, PARTNERSHIPS, AND THE SUBSCRIPTION

inally,Finally, Amazon has partnered with several third parties to create services and studies to go along with the Halo service. For example, if your health care provider’s system is compatible with Cerner, you can choose to share your body fat percentage with your provider’s electronic medical records system. Amazon says it will also be a fully subsidized option for the John Hancock Vitality wellness program.

The flagship partnership is with WW, which syncs up data from Halo into WW’s own FitPoints system. WW will also be promoting the Halo Band itself to people who sign up for its service. Read More From Source Share your opinion on this.

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