New Amazon Halo device and features compete against Fitbit, Apple Fitness+

Amazon is adding to its Halo fitness-tracking line with a new wearable, the Halo View, plus workout classes to rival Apple Fitness+ and meal planning.

The Halo View allows wearers to track health metrics like activity, sleep quality and blood oxygen levels. It provides live workout tracking as well as movement reminders and text messages. Unlike its original Halo wearable launched last year, the device includes an AMOLED screen.

Amazon said that the Halo View is swim-proof with up to seven days of battery life, and that the device can charge in under 90 minutes. 

Halo Fitness offers a variety of workout classes, including strength training, yoga, outdoor workouts and mobility classes, which can be tracked with the Halo View or through the original Halo Band.

Halo Nutrition helps users discover recipes, put together a weekly meal plan or pick a pre-built plan. They can personalize their weekly menus to account for allergies or personal preferences.

Amazon said the Halo View will ship in time for the holidays this year, Halo Fitness content will begin rolling out to members within the Halo app later this year, and Halo Nutrition will be available in January. 

“Customers tell us Halo is having a meaningful impact on their lives, offering important insights and tools they need to meet their health goals,” Melissa Cha, vice president, Amazon Halo, said in a statement.

“We’re excited to add even more to Halo, with new experiences to help members work out and nourish their bodies, plus Halo View – a new fitness tracker that adds a display, lowers the price, and comes bundled with a full year of Halo membership included for just $79.99. These new additions are a significant step forward in our mission to offer a great value service that’s always getting better, and enable customers to better understand their health.”

WHY IT MATTERS

Wearables and other fitness tracking devices have gone mainstream. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2019, around one in five U.S. adults said they regularly wear a smartwatch or wearable. 

Wearables are a big business. A report by the Consumer Technology Association predicts the market for wearables will generate a record-breaking $487 billion in revenue this year. 

THE LARGER TREND

Amazon is competing with other tech giants like Google, with its acquisition of Fitbit, Apple and Samsung in the wearable and fitness-tracking space.

Earlier this month, Apple announced it was expanding its fitness and Watch offerings, allowing cyclists to track their workouts and detect biking-related falls on the Watch, as well as adding more fitness classes. 

Amazon also highlighted Halo’s privacy features, noting users can download and delete health data at any time. 

Data security and privacy are hot topics for wearables and digital health companies. This month, the FTC warned that all health apps that capture sensitive data could face fines if they don’t alert users, the commission and in some cases the media in the event of a data breach.

The FTC alert came on the heels of news that a non-password-protected database exposed more than 61 million records that included information from fitness trackers and wearables. 

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