Amazon is expanding its presence in the wellness market with the $140 Halo Rise, a new bedside sleep tracker shipping later this year that doubles as a sunrise alarm clock. The launch comes after Amazon released its first Halo fitness tracker back in 2020 and its sequel, called the Halo Viewin 2021. It’s also another sign that Amazon and other tech giants are trying to fix the way we sleep.
The Halo Rise is designed to be an alternative to its Halo Band for those who prefer not to wear a wristband or smartwatch overnight but still want to monitor their sleep. Since it sits on your nightstand instead of on your body, it can also gather information about environmental factors that could be affecting your sleep, according to Amazon.
The Halo Rise doesn’t have cameras or microphones. Instead, it uses low-energy sensors to detect micro-movements that occur while breathing. Amazon then uses machine learning to translate those movements into sleep stages and surfaces these insights in the Halo app. The company says the Halo Rise’s sleep algorithm has been trained and validated against polysomnography, the test that doctors typically use to observe sleep patterns.
Release Date: Q4 2022
Designed to be an alternative to Amazon’s Halo Band for those who prefer not to wear a wristband or smartwatch overnight, but still want to monitor their sleep, the Rise is a sunrise alarm clock with sensors that capture information about your movement and environment.
The Halo Rise’s launch comes as sleep tracking has become a bigger area of focus for tech companies. Apple, for example, brought the ability to monitor different stages of sleep to the Apple Watch with its WatchOS 9 software update, which launched on Sept. 12. Fitbit and Samsung both launched sleep analysis features over the past year that examine long-term patterns and issue an animal mascot to symbolize the user’s sleep.
And Google, which owns Fitbit, built sleep tracking into its second-generation Nest Hub from 2021. That device similarly uses contactless radar to observe stages of sleep, but it’s meant to be a multifunctional smart home device too. That’s unlike the Halo Rise, which was only designed with sleep in mind. While the lack of a microphone is comforting from a privacy standpoint, it also means the Halo Rise can’t detect snoring or coughing like the Nest Hub.
Amazon’s sleep-sensing gadget is debuting at a time when the tech industry has come under scrutiny over the amount of personal data companies collect and how that information is protected. Amazon says the Halo Rise sends breathing patterns and micro-movements to the cloud where they’re translated into sleep stages, but that data is encrypted in transit and in the cloud and is automatically deleted after 10 days. Amazon also says the data always stays on the device until a sleep session is initiated, and that it won’t sell health data or use such information for marketing, product recommendations or advertising.
Halo Rise owners will also be able to download and delete their health data just like with the Halo Band. Amazon says the device is trained to only analyze the person nearest to it and not other people or pets in the same bed. The Halo Rise’s algorithms are only trained to detect sleep and won’t detect any other activity in the bedroom, according to Amazon.
In terms of the sleep-related metrics the Halo Rise can gather, there isn’t much that sets it apart from Amazon’s Halo Bands. Like Amazon’s wearables, it can tell how much time you’ve spent in certain stages of sleep and provide a sleep score assessing sleep quality. It also comes with a six-month membership to Amazon Halo, which typically costs $4 per month.
Among the biggest benefits of using the Halo Rise over the Halo band, according to Amazon, is that you don’t have to wear anything to sleep to get that data. Unlike the bands, the Halo Rise can also detect certain elements of your surroundings, like humidity, temperature and light, that could make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Amazon hasn’t said whether it plans to create new metrics or insights based on data from both the Halo Rise and the Halo band.
Since the Halo Rise is meant to be placed on your nightstand, it also serves as an alarm clock and wakeup light. Amazon says it should wake you up at the optimal time based on your sleep stages. In addition to the previously mentioned environmental sensors, the Halo Rise also includes a digital clock with physical buttons and a small speaker for the alarm. The wake-up light consists of 300-lux LEDs in the shape of a semicircle.
There isn’t built-in Alexa functionality since the Halo Rise was designed specifically for sleep. But if you own an Echo, you can pair it with the Halo Rise so that you can ask Alexa how you slept, or incorporate the Rise into a bedtime routine.
Launching a device like the Halo Rise not only helps Amazon compete more closely with rivals like Google and Apple, but it also could give the company an even stronger foothold in the home. Amazon accounted for 28.2% of the global smart speaker and smart display market as of the first quarter of 2022, according to Strategy Analytics. Google is Amazon’s closest competitor, claiming 17.2% of the market during the same time period.
Amazon announced the Halo Rise during its annual fall product launch event on Wednesday, during which it typically announces new products under its Echo, Ring, Eero Fire TV and Halo brands.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.