Submitted by Market Crumbs,
Amazon took a big jump into the wearables fitness market yesterday by announcing that its Amazon Halo is available in the U.S. for all customers after launching into Early Access in August.
The Halo Band and app helps users measure their health and wellness by focusing on five core features: activity, body, tone, sleep and lab. Some of the things the Halo Band measures include movement, body fat percentage, sleep and even qualities of your voice to help strengthen communication.
New features include on-demand workouts from leading brands and trainers as well as insights, which detects trends or patterns and offers advice on how to better understand or change them. The Halo Band costs $99.99 and comes with a free six month Halo membership, which will then cost $3.99 per month.
“The Halo Band is a comfortable wristband purpose-built to focus on your health and wellness, so you can focus on your life,” Amazon Halo vice president Melissa Cha wrote. “That’s why it doesn’t have a screen, and won’t constantly buzz or distract you.”
The Halo Band has already attracted criticism over privacy concerns as Senator Amy Klobuchar sent a letter last week to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting details on the actions the HHS is taking to ensure the health information taken from wearable fitness devices is secure.
“Recent reports have raised concerns about the Halo’s access to this extensive personal and private health information. Among publicly available consumer health devices, the Halo appears to collect an unprecedented level of personal information,” Klobuchar wrote. “This raises questions about the extent to which the tracker’s transmission of biological data may reveal private information regarding the user’s health conditions and how this information can be used.”
Amazon said the it is reviewing the letter and has been in touch with Klobuchar’s office.
“Privacy is foundational to how we designed and built Amazon Halo. Body and Tone are both optional features that are not required to use the product,” Amazon spokeswoman Molly Wade said.
With the availability of Amazon Halo coming just a month after Amazon debuted Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon is proving it sees a large opportunity in all things health.