Amazon Halo Tone Analysis : A Beginner’s User Guide and review

Amazon Halo Tone analysis feature

Amazon Halo is probably the only leading wearable in the market that offers the tone analysis feature. Did you know that many of us spend 70 to 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication? Of that time, we spend about 9 percent writing, 16 percent reading, 30 percent speaking, and 45 percent listening.

Since so much time is spend listening, the tone of our voice becomes an important attribute in how we are perceived by others.

More importantly, your tone can provide insights into your overall mental and emotional state. It has been proved in numerous studies that psychological stress can affect your emotional prosody.

Related:

This is where the first iteration of Amazon Halo’s tone analysis feature comes in.

Read on to understand how this feature works, how it can be set up, data and privacy-related mitigations, and tips to optimize the battery performance when using this feature.

What is the Amazon Halo Tone analysis feature?

Amazon defines the ‘Tone’ feature on their Halo band as a tool that you can use to

“Analyze the qualities of your voice like energy and positivity to help strengthen communication.”

Knowing how you sound to others, whether your spouse, your children, or your work colleagues can help strengthen the relationships.

How does the Halo Fitness Tracker Tone analysis work?

Amazon Halo Tone Analysis user guide and reviewAmazon’s Halo fitness tracker has a built-in microphone that captures your voice. Please note that the device capture ONLY YOUR VOICE during any conversations.

When Tone analysis is enabled on your Halo band, the microphone captures your voice as you speak with others.

Your voice is then processed by Amazon’s tone analysis algorithms on their servers and you are presented with results that give you a glimpse of what others might be perceived from the tone of your voice.

Brief Voice Snapshots

You can set up your Halo Fitness tracker to take brief voice snapshots during the day in order to get a sense of how your tone varies throughout the day.

Are you more positive in the morning? Is your tone more appealing after a cup of caffeine?

The voice snapshots feature can give provide you with a sense of the trends and help you see patterns.

Bookmark and analyze Important conversations

The other way to use the Tone analysis is to use it more as a tool to bookmark and analyze important conversations.

Let’s say you are going to be talking to your boss about a potential pay raise, you may want to see how your tone was potentially perceived during that conversation.

You can use the band button to bookmark the entire conversation.

Although there has been a lot written out there about potential privacy issues with Amazon Halo when it comes to tone analysis or even body fat analysis features, we think that some of these issues may be a little overblown, given the amount of control that Amazon Halo provides around privacy.

We will address some of these controls as well in this beginner’s guide to Tone Analysis.

Lets’ get started.

How to set up Tone analysis on your Amazon Halo Band

Setting up Tone analysis is easy and straight forward with the Halo fitness tracker. Start by launching the Halo app on your mobile device.

  • Tap on Tone section in the Analysis/Dashboard tab
  • Next, Tap on ‘Set up Tone’Set up Tone analysis feature on Halo band
  • Press the Button on the side of the band to turn on the MicrophoneTurn on Halo band microphone for tone analysis
  • You will see a green light on the side of your band and your mobile device will show ‘Microphone On” message on the app
  • Next, you have to provide microphone access to the app by tapping on ‘OK’Allow microphone access to Amazon Halo app
  • The next sequence of steps help with training the app with your voice
  • You read out six different small passages following which your voice is analyzed
  • A unique Voice ID is finally created and the ‘Tone’ quadrant gets activated.

With the above sequence of steps, you have activated the Tone analysis feature on your Amazon Halo Fitness band.

How to start using Tone analysis on the Halo Band

Now that you have set up the Tone analysis, by default it will start collecting brief voice snapshots during the day and then provide you with the analysis summaries the following day.

What you want is to make sure that the setup is working. The easiest way to do this is to use the Tone analysis on a live conversation.

How to use Amazon Tone analysis feature
Tap on the pause/stop button to end recording.
  • Tap on the second tab on the Halo app at the bottom
  • Tap on ‘Tone’ at the top instead of heart rate
  • Next, tap on ‘START’ button when you are ready to record a conversation
  • As it records the conversation, it starts analyzing your voice and detecting emotions in real-time
  • You will see it being displayed on the screen
  • Once the conversation has ended, it will show you the brief summary

Instant tone analysis on amazon halo fitness bandYou can pause the real-time conversation recording and analysis at any time by pressing the red ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the screen.

How to make sense of Amazon Tone analysis results

In order to review the tone analysis report associated with a specific conversation that you recorded, tap on the ‘Tone’ quadrant on the activity/dashboard tab.

The first section of the Tone analysis report provides you a nice summary of your emotional state as perceived during a specific conversation/s. This is categorized into four different areas:Understanding Amazon Halo Tone feature scores

  1. Amused, Delighted, Excited
  2. Content, appreciative, caring
  3. Reserved, discouraged, worried
  4. Displeased, irritated, enraged

The report gives you a percentage split among these four major emotional states to show you how your tone was being perceived.Halo Tone analysis and Notable moments feature

The report also has a ‘Notable Moments’ section. This section calls out some of the specific moments when you were highly positive or negative. Typically this section will show ‘Nothing Unusual to report’ for most of the time unless it reads a spike in a certain emotion.

How to use Amazon Halo lab tools to improve Tone?

The Lab feature on the Amazon Halo app is an awesome repository of information and tools to help you with various improvements that you want to pursue.

Use Labs with Tone on Amazon Halo to improve
Numerous lab programs available to help you improve.

Start by tapping on the Labs tab ( third tab at the bottom from the left).

Next, tap on Tone from the various lab categories at the top

Next you can browse all the Tone related labs or choose a specific category such as ‘public speaking’ or ‘Communications’ to select only the labs from these specific areas.

How to stop or pause Tone Analysis on Amazon Halo tracker

To pause the Tone feature, simply press and hold the button on the Halo band for 3 – 4 seconds. This will pause the feature and also mute the Mic. When you press the button on the halo band, look for the LED light to turn Red, indicating that the mic has been muted.

If you are not sure, the best way is to go to your Mobile device privacy settings and remove microphone access for the Amazon Halo app. You can enable it again when you want to restart the Tone analysis feature on the band.Check Microphone status on Amazon Halo

The other way to confirm that your microphone is muted is to open the Halo app on your mobile device and tap on Tone. It will show the microphone muted message at the top of the screen when you have muted the microphone.

In order to restart the Microphone, simply press the side button on your Halo band and watch the LED light blink. Next, check the status using the app and you are good to go.

How to Delete Conversations captured by Halo’s Tone Feature and protect privacy

Any conversations that you captured on your Amazon Halo’s Tone feature can be easily deleted using the Halo app.

  • Open the Halo app on your mobile device
  • Select Tone from the screen
  • Next, tap on conversations
  • Select the recorded audio session that you want to delete
  • Tap on ‘ Delete Conversation’ to get rid of the recording

In order to delete all captured data such as tone ratings, all conversations and notable moments, etc, simply go to the Settings tab

How to Delete Amazon Halo Tone conversations for good
This clears up all the captured tone data on your device
  • Scroll down to ‘Data & Privacy’ section
  • Choose Health Data
  • Scroll down to Tone Data
  • Choose ‘Delete Tone data’ here to clear all the recorded conversations and analysis.

Where are Amazon Halo Tone samples stored? How is Privacy handled?

In the case of the Tone feature, the tone samples are processed on your mobile device itself and not moved to cloud. When you delete the conversation samples, they are removed from your mobile device automatically.

Nobody can listen to your conversations ( for e.g Amazon employees). All the Tone data is stored between your band and your Amazon Halo app on your mobile device.

Nevertheless, all data movement between your band and their cloud servers is encrypted according to Amazon. 

Please note that when you are using third-party Labs in various areas, your information is not shared with the third-party. This is helpful if you are using Tone related labs to improve certain aspects of your voice pitch et al. Gives some peace of mind knowing that personal voice information is not shared with third-party entities. Check the Amazon Halo Privacy policy for more details.

Optimize Halo Battery performance when using Tone feature

Since the Tone feature uses the microphone to capture voice, it draws a lot more battery.

The amazon Halo band typically gives you  5 – 7 days between full charges, but this shortens dramatically, sometimes just a day, when you use the Tone feature on your fitness band.

If you plan on using Tone, there is a setting that allows you to choose from Less/More Tone recordings. You can access this setting on the Halo app. Open Halo app on your mobile device.Optimize Amazon Halo battery when using Tone feature

  • Select the Settings tab ( the last tab at the bottom of the screen)
  • Under App Settings, select Tone
  • Choose between Less Tone or More Tone here to optimize battery usage

Recommend using it with the ‘Less Tone’ setting so that you are at least able to use the band for 2 days between charges. 

Summary

We tried the Halo’s Tone analysis feature and were pleasantly surprised by it. The real-time analysis of your tone works remarkably well when it comes to identifying the emotion behind the voice.

We tried out low pitch and high pitch voices, soft tones and the reception on the Amazon Halo’s microphone was spot on.

There is hardly any latency when using this feature combined with the Halo app. As you are speaking, you can see the tone analysis play out on the app.

The ability to go back and introspect on a bookmarked conversation was also a very eye-opening exercise.

With regard to privacy, it was comforting to know that the only voice the app stores is your own voice. When you set up Amazon Halo’s Tone analysis feature, the first thing you do is set up a Voice profile id.

Any sounds matching that Voice profile are only captured for analysis. It was also very easy to delete all the bookmarked conversations right from the device.

All in all, it was definitely an introspective experience trying out the Halo’s tone analysis. It is hard to imagine how much power has been packed into a $70 Fitness band!

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