Amazon Halo Fitness Band Review - Is It Worth It?
Amazon is entering into the market industry of health gadgets with its new subscription service and fitness band known as Halo. Unlike Fitbits or Apple watch, the Amazon Halo Fitness Band has no screen, which shows that it focuses more on lifestyle changes other than exercise and sports. The app has the standard fitness tracking features such as sleep and cardio monitoring plus two innovative ideas; listening to your emotions on your voice tone and creating 3D scans for body fat scans.
The band will go for $99.99 and a monthly subscription of $3.94. According to Amazon, the device is not a medical device and has not undergone any approval by FDA like most fitness brands. Here is an exclusive Amazon Halo Fitness Band Review to help you determine whether the fitness system is worth it.
Halo Band Specification Hardware
The Halo Band features a sensor module and band which clicks on top of it. The system has no screen, so you will need to check your phone or strap something else to check the time or your steps.
The band features a temperature sensor, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, a Led indicator, a microphone, and two buttons to put the microphone on or off. For your information, the microphones are used for the voice tone feature and not for Alexa integration. This fitness band from Amazon lacks options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular radio, which is a sign that it's a more laid-back tracker.
The fitness band connects with your smartphone through Bluetooth and functions well with both Android and iPhone. When it comes to color options, the band is available in light blue (mineral), black (onyx), and pinkish (rose gold).
Amazon aims for its users to use the Halo Band with a battery life that lasts for an entire week and a water-resistant and swim-proof sensor. However, the features that make the Halo Band unique are the Voice tone and Body scan.
3D Body Scans
Body scans function with the smartphone camera. The application requires you to wear tight-fitting clothes, most appropriately your underwear. You will then stand back about six feet from your camera. The camera captures four photos, two side photos, a front and back photo, and uploads the pictures to Amazon’s servers. Here, the photos are combined into a 3D scan of your body that is then sent back to your smartphone and the data deleted from the servers.
After having the 3D scan, Amazon uses machine learning intelligence to analyze and calculate your body fat percentage. According to amazon, body fat percentage is a highly reliable health indicator than either body mass index or weight. They also claim that smart scales that use bioelectrical impedance to measure body fat are not as accurate as their body scans.
After you get your scans, the app offers a little slider that you can drag your finger on to indicate what you would look like with less or more body fat.
Voice Tone Tracker
Amazon Halo Band features a microphone meant to listen to your voice and report back on what it perceives your emotional state was through the entire day. However, if you don't opt-in, the mic on the Band won’t do anything.
After opting in, the Halo app will need you to read some text back to it to train a model on your voice, enabling the Halo Band to specifically key in your tone and not those around you. The band will then listen to your voice intermittently and judge it on metrics like energy and positivity.
This is an intermittent and passive system meaning you cannot actively ask it to read your voice tone and will not be listening to it all the time. You can also mute the microphone at any time by pressing the button until the LED blinks red to indicate it's muted.
Amazon claims that your voice is not uploaded to any servers or heard by other humans. Instead, the Amazon Halo Fitness band transmitted the audio snippets to your phone through Bluetooth and analyzed them there. After analyzing the voice for your emotional state, the Halo app deletes the voice samples immediately.
For analysis, the app picks up on your voice's intensity, pitch, tempo, and rhythm and then categorizes them into prominent moments that you can review later. Some emotional states include happy, hesitant, joyful, hopeful, worried, apologetic, affectionate, confused, and bored.
The Amazon spokesman claimed that this was a top priority after an inquiry about whether the tone feature was tested across different cultures, genders, and accents. Still, people with an accent will likely get less accurate results.
Sleep And Activity Tracking
While the tone and body scanning features must be Halo's most creepy or flashy features, you are most likely to spend most of your time looking at your activity score. The Amazon Halo app effectively tracks your cardio fitness activity weekly rather than daily, which allows for rest days. The app counts your steps on a top level to provide you with an abstracted score.
Amazon Halo Fitness Band utilizes its heart monitor to differentiate between light, moderate and intense activity and combines them to make sure you are achieving your weekly target. Unlike the Apple Watch’s stand prompts, the Halo app tracks the period you have been sedentary. If you stay for more than eight hours without engaging in activities, not counting the sleep time, the app will start deducting your weekly activity score.
The halo band automatically detects activities like running and walking. You will need to enter other exercise types into the app manually. The entire fitness system feels more appropriate for individuals who want to begin being more active and less appropriate for workout enthusiasts.
When it comes to heart and cardiovascular tracking, the Halo Fitness Band is not proactive in alerting you to heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation or fall detection. However, the sleep tracking feature allows you to record data of your REM sleep metric and temperature monitoring.
Both the tone and body features are innovative uses of applied artificial intelligence. However, they can likely set off several privacy alarm bells. According to Amazon, the company is prudent and maintains privacy with the user’s data. Each of the features is an opt-in, easy to turn off, and delete data. For instance, it’s not necessary to develop a body scan, and even if you choose to do it, the images will not see your images.
Amazon claims that the most sensitive data, such as voice tone and body scans, are solely stored locally. Halo app does not even integrate with other fitness applications such as Apple Health.
Amazon halo fitness band has a holistic and appealing approach to health tracking. It provides a discreet design, affordable entry, data accuracy, and when used together with companion apps, this is one of the fabulous fitness wearables. More so, the 3D body scanning feature is unique and can be appealing or disturbing based on how you take your self-image. Emotion tracking via voice tone is also completely new in the industry. So, the band may be ideal for people who only want to be a bit more active rather than more serious about fitness and exercise.
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