Amazon Halo is probably the only leading market wearable offering 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 spent listening, the tone of our voice becomes an essential attribute in how others perceive us.
More importantly, your tone can provide insights into your mental and emotional state. It has been proved in numerous studies that psychological stress can affect your emotional prosody.
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.
UPDATE: Amazon no longer supports Halo products, including the Halo Band, Halo View, and Halo Rise. Beginning on August 1, 2023, these products and the Amazon Halo app won’t work.
- 1 What is the Amazon Halo Tone analysis feature?
- 2 How does the Halo Fitness Tracker Tone analysis work?
- 3 How to set up Tone analysis on your Amazon Halo Band
- 4 How to start using Tone analysis on the Halo Band
- 5 How to make sense of Amazon Tone analysis results
- 6 How to use Amazon Halo lab tools to improve Tone?
- 7 How to stop or pause Tone Analysis on Amazon Halo tracker
- 8 How to Delete Conversations captured by Halo’s Tone Feature and protect privacy
- 9 Where are Amazon Halo Tone samples stored? How is Privacy handled?
- 10 Optimize Halo Battery performance when using the Tone feature
- Amazon Halo – Easy to set up, offering a variety of fitness features for a broad audience
- The Science behind Amazon Halo’s Voice Tone analysis and plans for Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure monitoring
- Amazon launches Fitness Band Halo with premium subscription features
- How to check weekly and monthly averages and totals on Amazon Halo
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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, children, or work colleagues, can help strengthen relationships.
This feature is available on the Amazon Halo Band (no display) and the Amazon Halo View (small color display) via the Halo smartphone app.
The Tone feature uses the smartphone’s microphone to analyze the tone of voice used during conversations.
How does the Halo Fitness Tracker Tone analysis work?
Amazon’s Halo fitness tracker has a built-in microphone that captures your voice. Please note that the device captures 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.
Amazon’s tone analysis algorithms then process your voice on their servers, and you are presented with results that give you a glimpse of how others might perceive you from the tone of your voice.
Brief Voice Snapshots
You can set up your Halo Fitness tracker to take brief voice snapshots to understand 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 you 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 essential 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 about potential privacy issues with Amazon Halo regarding 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 has Halo provides around privacy.
We also address some of these controls in this beginner’s guide to Tone Analysis.
Let’s get started.
How to set up Tone analysis on your Amazon Halo Band
Setting up Tone analysis is easy and straightforward with the Halo fitness tracker. Start by launching the Halo app on your mobile device.
The Tone feature is available via the Amazon Halo app’s Live Mode. The Halo Band also features a microphone for an enhanced Tone experience.
- Open the Amazon Halo app.
- Select Data > Tone >Set Up Tone.
- Follow the steps in the Amazon Halo app.
Detailed steps to set up Tone in the Amazon Halo app
- Open the Amazon Halo app.
- Tap on the Tone section in the Analysis/Dashboard tab
- Next, Tap on ‘Set up Tone’
- Press the Button on the side of the band to turn on the Microphone
- You see a green light on the side of your band, and your mobile device shows ‘Microphone On” message on the app
- Next, you have to provide microphone access to the app by tapping on ‘OK’
- The following sequence of steps helps 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 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 starts collecting brief voice snapshots during the day and then provides 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 Tone analysis in a live conversation.
- 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 the ‘START’ button when you are ready to record a conversation
- As it records the conversation, it analyzes your voice and detects emotions in real time
- You see it being displayed on the screen
- Once the conversation has ended, it shows you the summary
You 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
To review the tone analysis report associated with a specific conversation you recorded, tap on the ‘Tone’ quadrant on the activity/dashboard tab.
The Tone analysis report’s first section summarizes your emotional state as perceived during a specific conversation/s. This is categorized into four different areas:
- Amused, Delighted, Excited
- Content, appreciative, caring
- Reserved, discouraged, worried
- Displeased, irritated, enraged
The report gives you a percentage split among these four major emotional states to show how your tone was perceived.
The report also has a ‘Notable Moments’ section. This section described some moments when you were highly positive or negative.
Typically this section shows ‘Nothing Unusual to report’ most of the time unless it reads a spike in a particular emotion.
How to use Amazon Halo lab tools to improve Tone?
The Lab feature on the Amazon Halo app is an excellent repository of information and tools to help you with various improvements you want.
Start by tapping on the Labs tab (the 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 areas.
How to stop or pause Tone Analysis on Amazon Halo tracker
To pause the Tone feature, press and hold the button on the Halo band for 3 – 4 seconds.
This pauses the feature and also mutes 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 unsure, 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.
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 shows the microphone muted message at the top of the screen when you muted it.
To restart the Microphone, press the side button on your Halo band and watch the LED light blink. Next, check the app’s status, and you are good to go.
How to Delete Conversations captured by Halo’s Tone Feature and protect privacy
Any conversations captured on your Amazon Halo’s Tone feature can be quickly 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
To delete all captured data such as tone ratings, all conversations and notable moments, etc., go to the Settings tab
- Scroll down to the ‘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 the cloud.
When you delete the conversation samples, they are removed from your mobile device automatically.
Nobody can listen to your conversations (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 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.
Optimize Halo Battery performance when using the 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 the Halo app on your mobile device.
- 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 can use the band for two days between charges.
We tried Halo’s Tone analysis feature and were pleasantly surprised by it. The real-time analysis of your tone works remarkably well when identifying the emotion behind the voice.
We tried out low-pitch, high-pitch voices, and 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. The tone analysis plays out on the app as you speak.
The ability to go back and introspect on a bookmarked conversation was also a very eye-opening exercise.
Concerning privacy, it was comforting to know that the app stores only your voice. When you set up Amazon Halo’s Tone analysis feature, you first set up a Voice profile id.
Any sounds matching that Voice profile are only captured for analysis. Deleting all the bookmarked conversations from the device was also very easy.
All in all, it was a reflective experience trying out Halo’s tone analysis. It is hard to imagine how much power has been packed into a $70 Fitness band!
There’s also a less expensive Halo that comes with a small color screen.
The Amazon Halo band has been discounted from its original price and is now available directly from Amazon.