Amazon on Thursday unveiled a wristband that goes beyond simply tracking activity to gauging how happy a person is by the sound of their voice.
Amazon Halo combines data gathered by a sensor-packed wristband with artificial intelligence tools to provide wearers with feedback regarding their physical and mental health, the internet titan said.
“Despite the rise in digital health services and devices over the last decade, we have not seen a corresponding improvement in population health in the US,” Amazon Halo’s principal medical officer Dr Maulik Majmudar said in a release.
“We are using Amazon’s deep expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer customers a new way to discover, adopt, and maintain personalized wellness habits.”
People in the US were invited to request early access to Amazon Halo, which is priced at $65 (roughly Rs. 5,790) and includes six months’ membership access to AI-powered analytics for a limited time. When the early access period is over, the wearable will be priced at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 7,350). Monthly cost of membership will be $4 (roughly Rs. 295), according to the Seattle-based company.
Halo can discern intensity of activity, distinguishing walking from running, and reliably assess a wearer’s level of body fat, according to Amazon.
With the help of microphones in the wristbands, a Tone feature is designed to analyse “the positivity and energy” in someone’s voice to asses how happy, sad, tired or excited they sound, the company said.
“You might see that in the morning you sounded calm, delighted, and warm,” Majmudar said.
“Tone results may reveal that a difficult work call led to less positivity in family discussions, an indication of the impact of stress on social well-being.”
To protect privacy, speech samples are analysed on a wearer’s smartphone, which syncs to their Halo wristband, and then deleted after the process, Majmudar said.
People can turn off Halo microphones by pressing a button on the wristband, he added.
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