Amazon launches its bracelet to monitor mental and physical health

Amazon announced in late August that it would enter the wearable device market with its electronic Halo bracelet, which is distinguished from other electronic wristbands in the market by focusing on monitoring health rather than exercising.

Today, the US e-commerce giant announced the launch of the bracelet on a larger scale, as it is available at a price of $ 99.99, with an additional price of $ 16 for the silicone bracelet, and a price of $ 20 for the bracelet made of fabric.

Halo is distinguished from other bracelets in that it does not have any screen to display information, in order to make the user focus on his life as if he does not wear any bracelet, according to what the American company said when announcing it.

The bracelet – which is believed to compete with bracelets from other companies, most notably: Fitbit – shares that it contains many sensors, such as: an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate sensor, in addition to two microphones. And because there is no screen, the bracelet made of fabric or silicone covers the front of the device.

The user will not receive any notification from the bracelet, and the two microphones cannot be used to ask questions to the Alexa digital assistant, as the bracelet is separate from other Amazon services, but it comes with a subscription of $ 4 per month. It can be obtained for free with an Amazon Prime subscription. The user can opt out of the subscription, but will lose access to the advanced features it provides.

Halo has the distinction of focusing on mental health as much as on physical health. This is the purpose of microphones, as they listen to the user’s tone of voice to determine their emotional state throughout the day. But the user will have to train the bracelet to recognize his own voice and ignore the voices of others.

In order to preserve user privacy, Amazon confirms that the audio recordings that are sent from the bracelet to the phone for analysis will be deleted as soon as it is analyzed. No records are sent to the company’s servers. However, the user can mute the microphones.

Another key feature is the 3D Body Scan, which Amazon said is more informative than regular weight readings, and BMI readings that a user may get from bathroom scales. The bracelet itself cannot scan, but instead the Halo app uses the phone’s camera to take four photos.

Unlike the audio recordings, these images are sent to Amazon servers, where they are processed using artificial intelligence technology to convert them into a 3D model, and calculate the percentage of body fat. However, this data is not shared with third parties, and Amazon says: the data is deleted in less than 12 hours.

Once scanned, the user can use the slider bar to get a 3D view of their body to see if the fat has increased or decreased. And because the device focuses on mental health, Amazon recommends only running the scan once every two weeks rather than focusing on it daily.

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