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Amazon's controversy-stirring Halo fitness band is available to everyone
- Amazon’s Halo fitness band is available to everyone for $99.99, with no invitation required.
- It promises to help you stay fit and even gauge your body fat — if you don’t mind sharing photos of yourself.
- Amazon says it respects privacy despite claims of invasive features.
Amazon was coy about a release date when introducing its Halo fitness band this summer, but you don’t have to wait any longer. The activity tracker is now available to everyone, no invitation required, for $99.99. It’s a potentially very useful device, so long as you don’t mind its unusual approaches to improving your physical and psychological health.
On a basic level, the Amazon Halo band offers standard fitness features like calorie, step, and sleep tracking. It’ll even track movement intensity. However, those who pay $3.99 per month (six free months are included) will also get body composition and voice tone features that have raised eyebrows. For the body feature, you submit photos of yourself that are scanned to create a 3D model and calculate your body fat percentage. Amazon stressed that it immediately deletes photos after processing them, but you still have to be comfortable with submitting those images.
The Tone feature, meanwhile, occasionally analyzes the energy and positivity of your voice to improve your “relationship health” and otherwise gauge your mood. Amazon again says that it deletes recordings immediately after processing so that no one else will hear them, but you’ll have to accept that recording if voice quality is important to you.
The Amazon Halo release date also brings guidance if you’re not sure how to make the most of the band. You’ll find over 100 “Labs” to keep you fit, including at-home workouts, guided meditation sessions and food advice.
Read more: The best fitness trackers
There’s no display, but Amazon touts up to a week of battery life on the Halo band (with Tone turned off) and swim-friendly 5ATM water resistance.
The extra health tracking features on the Amazon Halo could be worthwhile if you want a band that does more than simply encouraging exercise. If you don’t subscribe, though, it loses some of its appeal. You might be better with a no-frills tracker if you want just essential data, or a full-fledged smartwatch if you’re committed to improving your fitness.