Amazon.com today launched a fitness band and app, “Halo”, as the e-commerce giant looks compete in an increasingly crowded fitness tracker market with the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Garmin
Although The Halo band would be priced at $99.99, significantly below the price of some of the existing main brand trackers, app membership would cost $3.99 per month.
The membership includes body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep & activity tracking, and more — free for 6 months. It will auto-renew after that for $3.99.
The Halo Band is designed to be Screen-free for fewer distractions, much like bands such as Whoop.
The Amazon halo band comes packed with the following features:
Body Composition – Measure body fat percentage, a better indicator of health than weight or BMI alone.
Activity – Track the intensity & duration of your movement plus sedentary time.
Sleep – Analyze patterns like how often you wake up during the night.
Labs – Science-backed experiments and challenges from experts like the Mayo Clinic, SWEAT, and Headspace.
Tone – Analyze qualities of your voice like energy and positivity to help strengthen communication.
Although the features to track activity, sleep and body composition have become common with many fitness trackers, Amazon is differentiating its positioning with the two core offerings.
The first is that the monthly subscription of $3.99 will provide users insight from prestigious medical experts from Mayo Clinic, SWEAT and more.
Second, it appears that the band will feature some Alexa based mechanisms to analyze the tone of your voice and help you strengthen your communication skills.
This ability to perform tone analysis with feedback is brand new. We haven’t seen any other fitness tracker feature this. The Halo includes two specialty built microphones in order to do tonal analysis.
- Amazon Alexa as a Self-Hypnosis tool for personalized health management
- Amazon’s Alexa to Compete with Apple’s Health Service offerings
Amazon is also differentiating its offering by including some building blocks that will allow remote health features. Users will be able to share their health records with their physicians via EMR. According to CNBC’s Christy Farr,
This announcement from Amazon comes at a time when existing Apple Watch users are waiting for the much-rumored Apple Watch Series 6 that is expected to feature some new health and fitness subscription services.
Amazon Halo may be the platform allowing Amazon to explore health insurance service offerings.
John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial, and Amazon said today that they are joining forces to promote health and wellness among insurance customers.
Under the partnership, which gets underway this fall, John Hancock’s Vitality life insurance customers will be able to link the Amazon Halo Band to the program, allowing them to earn Vitality points for making healthy choices.
The fitness and health tracking space is definitely get crowded and it is a good thing for users who will have a plethora of choices to choose from.
The Amazon Halo does not have a screen or communications unit for checking your notifications or catching up with your calls. So in a way, it doesn’t compete with full-scale smartwatches out there from the likes of Apple or Garmin.
The Halo product has been in development since Dec 2017, which means Amazon has spent good amount of time thinking through, building and testing the product before announcing it to the public.
What surprised us the most was that Amazon decided to charge a monthly subscription fee and not waive it completely for Prime subscribers. It would not surprise us if Amazon decides to offer the device and subscription-free for new prime members to bolster up its prime membership.
Amazon said the water-resistant fitness band, with a battery life of up to 7 days, contains an accelerometer, a temperature sensor and a heart rate monitor, among other features.
Early access to the band is currently priced at $64.99.
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.