By B.N. Frank
Amazon’s new health band is the most invasive tech we’ve ever tested
The Halo Band asks you to strip down and strap on a microphone so that it can make 3-D scans of your body fat and monitor your tone of voice. After all that, it still isn’t very helpful.
Amazon has a new health-tracking bracelet with a microphone and an app that tells you everything that’s wrong with you.
You haven’t exercised or slept enough, reports Amazon’s $65 Halo Band. Your body has too much fat, the Halo’s app shows in a 3-D rendering of your near-naked body.
And even: Your tone of voice is “overbearing” or “irritated,” the Halo determines, after listening through its tiny microphone on your wrist.
We hope our tone is clear here: We don’t need this kind of criticism from a computer. The Halo collects the most intimate information we’ve seen from a consumer health gadget – and makes the absolute least use of it. This wearable is much better at helping Amazon gather data than at helping you get healthy and happy.
Since August, the Halo has been listed by Amazon as an “early access” product that requires an “invitation” to buy. (It will cost $100 plus a $4 monthly fee once it’s sold widely.) We’re reviewing the Halo now because Amazon’s first digital wellness product offers a glimpse of how one of tech’s most influential companies thinks about the future of health. And what could be better to do when we’re lonely during a pandemic than have an always-listening device point out our flaws? Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, but we review all technology with the same critical eye.
Got pets? Exposure can affect them too. What fur parent wants that?
Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives.
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