In what seems to be a competition with Apple and Fitbit, Amazon has now introduced its Amazon Halo band and companion app for tech freaks to help them improve their 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 the user’s body composition and tone of voice and discover healthy habits that work for them. Halo is available via early access for US customers.
“Halo is a new service designed to help you continually improve your individual health and wellness through better understanding it. That means we provide not just useful information, but also ways to put that information into action. Halo takes activity and sleep tracking a step further, plus introduces innovative new tools like body composition measurement, tone of voice analysis, and expert-backed habit labs,” said Melissa Cha, Vice President of Amazon Halo.
Amazon applied its long-term expertise in computer vision (CV) and machine learning (ML) towards developing “Body,” a feature within Amazon Halo, the new health and wellness membership. With Body, the users can easily measure and track their BFP from the comfort and privacy of their own home, using only the smartphone’s camera and the Amazon Halo app. The body is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the CV and ML team and includes a suite of algorithms that can generate their personalized 3D body model, BFP, and body model slider, a vision of how the body could change as the users gain or lose body fat.
The BFP measurement in Amazon Halo is as accurate as methods a doctor would use and nearly twice as accurate as leading at-home smart scales. So, if you’re used to getting your BFP from a smart scale, you should expect to see a difference. We tested accuracy using Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) which is considered the clinical gold standard for body composition and widely used, but these machines would require a doctor’s prescription.
Whether the bathroom or bedroom, the users can take a body scan wherever they are most comfortable. They will need to wear tight, minimal clothing, tie up your hair, and keep about 4-6 feet of space between themselves and their phone. Once ready, the Amazon Halo app shows you exactly how to stand and guides you through taking four scan images—front, back, and each side.
“In seconds, you’ll see your personalized 3D body model, BFP, and body model slider in the Amazon Halo app. It’s that simple! The model gives you a 3D view of your body at the time of that scan. Amazon Halo helps you understand where your BFP stands in relation to people of the same sex and age, and the slider can help you visualize how your body could change as you gain or lose body fat. Keeping the conditions consistent between scans will help achieve the best result. It takes time for your body fat to change. We recommend taking scans every 2 weeks and observe trends over a longer duration to track progress. We were excited to pilot the Body feature with WW members—more than 80 percent said it was a useful or motivational tool in their journey,” an Amazon blog post revealed.
Amazon further added that health is inherently personal, and taking photographic scans of your body is about as private as it gets. This is the reason why Amazon Halo and Body were built with privacy in mind. The body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after processing. After that, the images and resulting personalized 3D body models are only stored locally on your phone. This means no one but you ever sees them unless you choose to share them with a friend or coach. And, of course, you can download or delete your Body data any time through the Settings tab in the Amazon Halo app that comes with Amazon Halo Band.
Furthermore, you can also opt-into storing your Body scan images in the secure Amazon cloud. The users can opt back out any time directly from the Amazon Halo app and the images will automatically be deleted from the cloud.
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