Amazon Enters Wearables Market, Announces Halo Band Activity Tracker and Smart Health Subscription

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Amazon Enters Wearables Market, Announces Halo Band Activity Tracker and Smart Health Subscription
Photo: Amazon

Amazon steps into the fitness wearables market by announcing its fitness tracker Amazon Halo Band and its smartphone subscription services. The Amazon Halo Service prioritizes more on lifestyle changes associated with individuals’ daily habits and routines.

Technology and e-commerce giant Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) is making some big moves in the fitness wearables market. On Thursday, August 27, Amazon unveiled its new membership program and smartphone app Halo. Halo is a comprehensive wellness monitoring and personal health subscription service.

Currently, Amazon is providing early access to its Halo service on special request. Besides, to provides its customers with a unique and integrated experience, Amazon has also launched the Halo Band wrist-worn activity tracker. The Halo Service which includes both – the app service and wrist band – is available at $64.99 for a six-month membership.

In the future, the standard public price for the wrist-band will be $99.99. Also, users will have to pay an additional $3.99 for availing the Halo services. Furthermore, the Halo Service is a completely separate offer and won’t be a part of Amazon Prime.

By launching its new Halo Band, Amazon is stepping up the game in the health gadget market. It will be competing with the two biggest players in the segment – FitBit and Apple Watch. However, the differentiating factor with the Amazon Halo Band is that it doesn’t have a screen. Probably, Amazon is making a niche market for itself that focuses more on lifestyle changes and a bit less on sports and exercise.

Amazon Halo – Differentiating from FitBit and Apple Watch

The Halo smartphone application comes with a unique set of fitness tracking features. One such feature is using the camera to create 3D scans of your body fat. The second is listening to the emotions in a human’s voice. Apart from the usual tracking features like body fat, sleep, cardio, and voice tone tracking, the Halo subscription comes with a suite of “labs”.

The “labs” have some short challenges to improve your daily health habits. This includes basic exercise routines, improving your sleeping habits, and meditation. The Halo Band is the outcome of developments in Amazon’s previous fitness devices which never came to the market.

Amazon clearly differentiates its Halo Band saying that “is not a medical device”. Also, with the Halo Band, Amazon continues to expand its hardware devices offerings. Starting with Kindle, Amazon moved to FireTV, then smart home Echo devices, and now the Halo Band.

However, Halo stands as Amazon’s first big shot in the rapidly growing wearables market. Amazon’s Melissa Cha, a vice president at Halo, said that Halo Band combines best of tracking technology, fitness and health. She added:

“We did a global search to find the best experts. We found cardiologists, fitness experts, and people who had spent their careers researching sleep and wellness.”

For the Halo Band, the company relies on its in-house computer vision and machine learning technologies. Amazon has assured its commitment to protecting user data and privacy. Besides, the e-commerce giant said that it won’t use this data to sell any health-related products to its users.

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