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Amazon Launches Halo to Take On Apple Watch and Fitbit

By Daniel Vena - Aug 27, 2020 at 2:44PM

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The new device will not only track physical activity but also calculate body fat and emotional well-being.

Amazon (AMZN 2.07%) introduced a new wristband and fitness tracker dubbed Amazon Halo, which will take on industry leader Fitbit (FIT) as well as the Apple (AAPL 2.14%) Watch. 

The Amazon Halo has a number of advanced features designed to help users improve their health. This includes an accelerometer, temperature sensor, and heart rate monitor. The Halo also uses on-board computer vision that allows users to accurately measure their body fat percentage. The device can monitor the time and quality of sleep, recording various sleep cycles, movement, and skin temperature. It can also analyze the user's tone of voice to measure emotional well-being.

A smartphone displaying the Amazon Halo app with the Halo Band nearby.

Image source: Amazon.

"Health is much more than just the number of steps you take in a day or how many hours you sleep," said Dr. Maulik Majmudar, principal medical officer, Amazon Halo. "Amazon Halo combines the latest medical science, highly accurate data via the Halo Band sensors, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence to offer a more comprehensive approach to improving your health and wellness."

This suite of tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can offer customized advice and actionable insights in conjunction with the Amazon Halo app. This includes a variety of "challenges, experiments, and workouts" to help users better understand what works best for them. Examples include cutting out afternoon caffeine to improve sleep or identifying a specific type of workout that is most effective.

Customers can get the device and a six-month subscription to the service for an introductory price of $64.99, automatically renewing at $3.99 per month.

This is the latest move by Amazon to make inroads into the healthcare space. In early 2018, the company partnered with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B 1.71%) (BRK.A 1.66%) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM 1.66%) in a joint venture dubbed Haven, whose sole purpose was to address healthcare issues. The company has since rolled out Amazon Care, a healthcare service offered to employees and their families. Amazon also acquired online pharmacy PillPack and has partnered with Crossover Health to open its first health clinic.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Amazon and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Fitbit and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon, and short September 2020 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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