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Amazon’s latest Halo device is a bedside sleep tracker • londonbusinessblog.com

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Exactly one year ago today, Amazon announced its entry into the fitness tracking space, with the launch of the Halo View. The wearable was certainly priced at $80, with a design that resembled cues from some Fitbit offerings. However, in the end, the product got the wrong press, because of the data the company was collecting.

At today’s big virtual event, Amazon has added a new product to the line. The Halo Rise is a sleep tracker, although it swaps out the whole portable thing for a bedside-standing design. It’s no different from Google’s most recent Nest Hub in that regard, though the $129 Rise is very purpose-built.

“Prioritizing sleep isn’t just about getting more sleep. It’s about finding the right balance between getting a good night’s sleep and the habits and activities you do during the day,” Amazon’s Njenga Kariuki said at today’s event. “We call this ‘sleep-life harmony’ and we strive to invent devices and services that remove the obstacles that disrupt this balance.”

Image Credits: Amazon

The system uses non-contact sensors to detect sleep quality and states, linked to movements and breathing patterns. The device provides a graph of Rem, light and deep sleep, along with additional information such as room temperature, humidity and light to determine how they affect sleep quality. The company explains:

It uses a sleep algorithm trained and validated against nocturnal polysomnography – the clinical gold standard for sleep analysis. Halo Rise uses powerful environmental technology that is always ready and automatically starts your sleep session when you get into bed with no buttons to press or batteries to charge.

I will say, there is something about a non-portable sleep tracker. I’ve found that most smartwatches are uncomfortable to wear to bed. It’s like the observer effect for wearables, where sleep tracking changes it. I’ve had the best luck with under-the-mattress trackers like Withings, but the side of the bed is the best alternative. Amazon is also quick to point out that the system doesn’t have onboard cameras or microphones — an important detail for something that literally sees you sleeping.

In addition to the tracking, the system also has an alarm, coupled with a wake-up light that simulates sunrise via 400 LED, coupled to a loudspeaker. It’s linked to your sleep stages, so it won’t suddenly wake you from a deep sleep. There is also additional smarthome functionality on board. Amazon again:

Halo Rise works even better with Alexa, making it easier to monitor your sleep insights and personalize your sleep experience. For example, use a compatible Echo device to ask Alexa how you slept, sync Alexa with the Halo Rise smart alarm to wake up to your favorite song, or combine Halo Rise with other smart bulbs that you can only control with your voice. You also have the option to use Halo Rise as part of a personalized Alexa routine. For example, when you get into bed, Alexa can automatically dim the lights in the bedroom, turn off the TV, and start a relaxing meditation. Additionally, you can ask Alexa to fetch your sleep data on Echo Show, where the last night’s sleep report is visible on the device’s screen.

The system will cost $140 when it ships later this year. That includes six months of Amazon’s premium Halo service.

read more about Amazon's fall event, September 28, 2022

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