September 24, 2020
Amazon's Halo takes fitness tracking to new and uncomfortable levels - Video

Amazon’s Halo takes fitness tracking to new and uncomfortable levels – Video


Amazon has entered the health and wellness space with a new fitness fan slash subscription service that can analyze your body fat and tell you when you’re out of line.
Let’s talk about Halo.
There’s two parts to Halo There’s the device portion of it, which is a very bare bones fitness band with no screen, one button, no haptic feedback, no notifications, nothing.
And then there’s the app portion of it, which basically allows you to see all your health data.
All of this cost $99.
That’s for the first six months of the subscription and the fitness fan.
And then you pay a membership fee of 399 a month, except right now there’s an early access deal, which kind of sounds like a beta program, and that costs $65 for the first six months.
It’s available now, but we don’t know exactly when you’re going to be able to use the app or when a fitness fan will arrive in the mail.
Amazon thinks the whole concept of using your weight to determine your health is completely flawed and I don’t disagree.
I mean, think about it.
We’ve been preconditioned to obsess about our weight.
The entire diet industry was built upon the notion of finding ways to lose it.
But it doesn’t really paint a realistic picture of your overall health because there are so many factors that can affect weight and it can fluctuate daily things like medication, humidity levels, whether you’re on your period.
It also the scale can’t distinguish between muscle and that, so you could literally spend weeks at the gym Working your **** off trying to replace fat with muscle and not see that number on the scale but that’s why it makes sense that Amazon would focus on body fat.
The tricky thing is how they get around to calculating [LAUGH] Your body fat and this is where things start to get uncomfortable.
So first off, you have to strip down.
To basically your sports bra and a very tight fitting spandex if you’re a woman or just shirtless if you’re a dude.
And then allow the app to take a picture of you almost naked, then it eliminates everything in the background.
Calculates your body fat percentage which is already scary enough, and then it creates a 3D model of your body.
So if you’re not terrified already, you must have zero percent body fat.
Amazon says that none of this information is ever seen by humans that it’s actually processed on the cloud and then gets eliminated and nobody has to see it unless you decide to share it, but still Amazon doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to keeping user data private, right?
Let’s talk about the good things about this.
This does seem to be a better baseline.
And if you do have a 3D mock up of your body, you will be able to track progress a lot better than just taking a picture of yourself in the mirror, plus you have that number to guide you.
But as of now, the app doesn’t really provide a lot of coaching on how to improve your number.
It’s kinda up to you to figure that out.
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The other interesting feature about Halo is tone analysis, which has nothing to do with analyzing how toned and fit you are and everything to do with analyzing your tone of voice.
That way it can tell you what you sound like to other people, whether that’s upbeat and happy or pissed off or concerned during this time period.
And you can make changes accordingly.
Now obviously, this is not a psychological evaluation because there are ways to change the inflection of your voice.
And make you sound happy even though you’re dying inside.
So it’s just meant to be kind of a gut check to see how other people are perceiving you, which is interesting and creepy in a totally different way.
Now fortunately this is an opt in feature meaning it will be disabled by default.
To enable it you have to do it from the app.
Then also, that’s what the button on the band is for you tap it to enable the two microphones that are listening in not on your conversations, but just taking little snippets of it throughout the day.
And it can distinguish between your voice and someone else’s voice.
So it’s just analyzing yours and it doesn’t supposedly right.
It doesn’t look into the content of the conversation, but just the inflections and the tone of voice to paint that picture of your emotions throughout the day.
Amazon says that all your conversations stay on your device only.
And then even when they do go to get analyzed, that information is encrypted.
So nobody is listening in on your conversations, but you know, privacy is still a concern.
Then we’ll get into more of the traditional features like sleep tracking, which Halo does it does the basics like telling you how long you’ve been asleep and then also analyzes the different stages of sleep.
It goes beyond that too and gives you your temperature throughout the night now, temperature tracking has become a key metric during the COVID-19 era.
You have different devices like the aura ring that track it.
But they don’t really give you a specific number and neither does Halo.
It just kind of plots your baseline.
It takes a couple of nights to plot your baseline.
And that way you can see if you deviated from your baseline and this could signal an illness, or it could also just tell you how your body temperature affected your night’s sleep.
And I would expect this to get a little bit more robust if Halo does become a thing, and eventually could be helpful in detecting illness down the line, and then you have just your general fitness tracking.
But Halo does it a little bit differently because instead of giving you your information a day at a glance, it looks at the entire week so it starts allocating points throughout the week.
Based on your activity levels, it gives you more points for intense activity and lasts for for more moderate exercise and it actually subtracts points for sedentary time.
So if you’ve been sitting for too long, then that’s going to get you negative points for the system.
But then even if you’ve had an off day, you can still kind of make it up throughout the week.
The band itself only tracks two different exercises.
Walking and running everything else you’re going to have to tag manually on the app itself.
But it does tie into other different apps like fitness apps and meditation apps so that you can log your activity that way as well.
What’s interesting though, is that it’s not compatible.
With Google’s fit app or Apple’s healthkit, but to me the biggest barrier to entry here is the privacy issues and Amazon hasn’t had the cleanest record when it comes to privacy.
There was some issues with Alexa storing private conversations, some recent issues with the ring doorbells.
And you know, handing off your health information is a whole different level of trust.
That I think it’s gonna take a while to build up, or unless these features are truly earth shattering, and then you’re gonna say **** it.
I’m gonna give you all my information because I want these features.
It’s TBD because we still haven’t tested it.
And I will have to do another video to show you all those features and tell you if they’re worth it another time.
So come back then.
I’ll see you next time.



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