Amazon has presented a new wearable. It goes by the name of the Amazon Halo Band. This is a bracelet that should also check your health. In addition to hardware, Amazon Halo is a new service designed to help users improve their health and wellbeing.
What is Amazon Halo?
Amazon Halo a new service dedicated to helping you improve your health and wellness. 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 U.S. customers. (blog.aboutamazon.com)
Members can access a range of AI-based features supported by the Amazon Halo Band through the Amazon Halo app. Activity and sleep can be observed, the body composition can be analyzed – and one should learn “healthy habits”. According to Amazon, you don’t just want to rely on weight and BMI to tell a user that they should improve something.
A better metric for health
The BMI in particular is often criticized because it does not differentiate between muscle and fat tissue. Muscle and bones are denser than fat, so people who are very muscular may be classified as obese based on their BMI even though they don’t have a lot of fat.
I can judge that well myself because I was very fat once, but I also packed up muscles. The BMI alone would still be devastating and the opinion “Obesity, grade I” – two or three kilos less in my fluctuations make for under 30 – overweight. Body fat percentage (BFP) is a better overall indicator of health and longevity than weight or BMI alone – many now claim.
Then there are also some scales that want to address the problem. Instead of measuring body fat, the scales analyze the electrical resistance in the body and use equations to convert this into BFP. Depending on how many liquid users ingest during the day, this electrical resistance can fluctuate greatly, which leads to high error rates in BFP. Amazon has a very good treatise on the subject and at least wants to do everything better with Halo.
Many years of expertise in the areas of computer vision (CV) and machine learning (ML) have been used to develop “Body”, a function within Amazon Halo. With “Body”, users can measure and track their BFP comfortably and privately from home using only the camera on their smartphone and the Amazon Halo app. So you also take photos. The BFP measurement in Amazon Halo is as accurate as methods a doctor would use and almost twice as accurate as the leading home smart scales. At least that’s the full-bodied statement from Amazon.
Privacy? How about that? Body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after processing. After that, the images and the resulting personalized 3D body model are only saved locally on the phone. If you want, you can also save the images for later comparison.
Amazon Halo Price
And when can you use that thing? Unfortunately not at all in Germany. At least for now. It’s like Echo Auto – by invitation only, starting in the US. $65 to get started, $100 later. Membership is available for 6 months when purchased, after which it costs $3.99 per month.