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Amazon enters wearable market with Halo fitness band

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Taking on Apple Watch and Fitbit in the wearable space in a big way, Amazon on Thursday introduced a wristband called Halo for health and fitness tracking, body fat and emotions, along with a subscription service and a smartphone app.

The device offers battery life up to seven days, and fully charges from 0 per cent in less than 90 minutes. It is water resistant to 50 meters.

The wearable is available in the US for $64.99 for a limited period and will cost $99.99 once the early access period is over.

Halo bands are available in Black/Onyx, Winter/Silver, and Blush/Rose Gold colours. It is Bluetooth 5.0 compatible for both Android and iOS devices.

Members can access a suite of AI-powered features through the Amazon Halo app, powered by the comfortable, innovative Amazon Halo Band.

“Monitor activity and sleep, analyze your body composition and tone of voice, and discover healthy habits that work for you. Halo is available via early access for US customers,” the company said in a statement.

The Halo device that uses Amazon ‘Tone’ technology looks like a Fitbit tracker more than an Apple Watch.

“The Amazon Halo Band and Halo app use voice detection algorithms to pick up speech, remove background noise and optimize battery life. Our AI analyzes qualities of the customer’s voice such as pitch, intensity, tempo, and rhythm to predict how others would perceive and describe the customer’s tone of voice,” said Maulik Majmudar, a cardiologist and Principal Medical Officer for Amazon Halo.

One can enable “Tone” by choosing to set up a personal voice profile within the Amazon Halo app.

If you choose not to, the mics on the Amazon Halo Band remain off until and unless you create a voice profile by clicking on the Tone tile on the Halo app home page.

Unlike Apple Watch, Amazon Halo uses a points system when tracking exercise and sets a baseline goal of 150 points weekly.

Membership includes body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep and activity tracking, and more.

The wearable measures body fat percentage, tracks the intensity and duration of your movement plus sedentary time and analyzes patterns like how often you wake up during the night.

“Based on guidance from the American Heart Association, Halo analyzes the intensity and duration of your movement, not just steps,” Amazon said.


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