American multinational technology company Amazon recently announced Alexa integration for its Halo fitness-tracking gadget. This new feature will allow Halo owners to ask Alexa devices about various health stats, such as their sleep score or activity points obtained during the day.
According to The Verge, this new Alexa integration will be off by default in the Halo bands and users will have to upgrade their devices to the latest firmware and OS version. The new feature roll-out started on Thursday (March 4) and will continue over the next week. The Halo band from Amazon is the company’s first fitness-focused product and so far, has had a less than stellar reception since its announcement last fall.
The USD 99.99 Halo, aside from the standard fitness things of tracking movement and sleep patterns, also has the ability to police the tone of your voice and tell you when you’re being dismissive or condescending with your words. Its companion Halo app can also 3D scan the body through the phone`s camera and measure fat composition. These two unconventional features have especially been criticized for both their invasiveness and inconsistency.
Even though the Halo has been available for purchase since mid-December, last year, it shows out of stock in all sizes and colours on Amazon right now, with no information on when it might return.
Amazon has noted that this Alexa integration only allows for Alexa to provide information related to health data captured by Halo. It will not be able to do the tone analysis itself and also will not store the Halo data as part of its responses. There is an option to set a voice PIN to protect access to the Halo data and users will be able to opt for a five-minute timeout window after the PIN is entered for easier access to the Halo data in subsequent requests.
As per The Verge, Amazon said Halo owners will be able to disable the integration at any time from the Halo app if they decide they no longer want it. They can also manage and delete voice recordings from their Halo requests in the privacy hub of the Alexa app.