Amazon has recently announced Halo, fitness band, joining the many health/fitness trackers available out there with popular bands from Fitbit, Garmin, Apple and even cheaper options from Xiaomi and a lot of other unknown brands.
You can find more details about the announcement here at:
- The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/27/21402493/amazon-halo-band-health-fitness-body-scan-tone-emotion-activity-sleep
- Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Halo-Fitness-And-Health-Tracker/dp/B07QK955LS for more technical specs.
So, if they’re so bold enough to venture into a saturated market, either they’re planning to go into price war, or they should have some unique offerings that other products doesn’t have? Let’s see what their unique offerings are, and I’ll offer my personal opinion on what should be their next product features (super subjective opinion not backed by research, but hey, that’s what visionary people do, right?)
1. No Display
While it leverages the smartphone display, having no display on the band may sound out of this world compared to the competitors. But is it really helpful? If we look at the history of personal computer, it all started from no display. Yupe, it was a breakthrough, because nobody else has done that.
From there, the next PC added screen, keyboard and power supply. Since Amazon Halo has the portable battery, buttons (as input device compared to keyboard), perhaps the next feature they can add will be the touch screen. Or at least add some tactile display that we can just touch instead of seeing.
2. Body Scan That Tells If You Are Fat
Why is this innovative? It brings the concept of offline experience to online! Remember how all these digitizing things actually helps improve our live? Like having Voice Assistance telling us the weather today or reading news for us. That saves us some mundane steps and time.
Now this body scan exactly does that. It replaces your honest mirror or judgmental friends and family with nonjudgmental AI that tells you are fat! It probably also comes with reminder function to keep reminding you why you have not lost that fat. Very useful!
So, what should be the next improvement to this? Add social network analysis and ratings. Do the Tik Tok of fat loss program where user can upload their daily body scan to show progress to peers. We need social support to go through the difficult journey of shedding those fats. People can cheer each other on every gram of fat lost. We need to bring to human element into the system.
3. Emotion Tracking with Tone
No other device has this feature as well (let me know if I’m wrong). This is another digitizing the offline into online experience. Where we used to see frowns, disgust, excited facial expressions from people that we talk to, now we have one more AI to tell us that.
With this much of data on our hands (literally), I think the next best feature should be the Feedback Loop system (other than actually going out and talk to people, but hey, this is a technology blog). Taking reference to Neuralink (https://www.wired.com/story/neuralink-is-impressive-tech-wrapped-in-musk-hype/), it will be good if the Halo can shoot some electric impulse to the user’s wrist every time the user lost the temper. Increase the voltage for every 30 seconds when the emotion has not calmed down. Just a gentle reminder to keep those emotion in check.
The Halo band definitely has a lot unique features that are yet to be tested for market adoption. Maybe people will love it? Maybe they’re too early for its time? Regardless, there’s always way to improve the features.