Amazon Halo

Amazon Halo No More

Amazon is shutting down its Halo healthcare devices on Aug. 1, and both types of Halo wristbands and the Halo Rise smart clock will cease to function on that data. The tech giant is also laying off the employees who worked on Halo, bringing its three-year experiment in wearables to a close amid its ongoing cuts of thousands of jobs.

Halo Tarnished

Amazon launched the Halo Band in 2020 to monitor the wearer’s health and activity. Amazon distinguished its first wearable from Fitbit and other devices with extra features and analysis, such as measuring body fat percentage via a smartphone camera and assessing a wearer’s tone of voice. The microphones would measure aspects of voice like speed, pitch, rhythm, and intensity to build a picture of your mood as others would react to it. The Halo View followed soon after but didn’t keep the microphones and went with a more standard touchscreen. Rounding out the collection was the Halo Rise smart clock and contact-free sleep tracker, and all of the devices were united by the Halo mobile app. There are no longer any Halo devices available on Amazon, but those who bought one or more can likely get their money back, with Amazon issuing refunds for any pre-paid Halo app subscription fees.

“At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas like Amazon Halo in our efforts to delight customers. While we are proud of what we built, we recently made the difficult decision to stop supporting Amazon Halo effective July 31, 2023,” Amazon wrote in a letter to Halo owners. “We understand this news may be disappointing for you. In the coming weeks, Amazon will fully refund purchase(s) made in the preceding 12 months of Amazon Halo View, Amazon Halo Band, Amazon Halo Rise, and Amazon Halo accessory bands.”

The end of Halo is a notable addition to Amazon’s cycle of product and feature release and cancellation, but mostly as a matter of scale. Over the last couple of years, Amazon has sunsetted, shut down, or otherwise folded up many such products and programs. Most recently, Alexa Built-In smartphones have removed their hands-free Alexa access and other unique benefits. Amazon also discontinued the Alexa-enabled Amazon Basics brand microwave and removed the Amazon Glow interactive projector and video call screen for kids from its store late last year. Even those were well after the removal of the Cloud Cam, an early Alexa smart home device since being overtaken by Blink and Ring. It has been years since the Dash Wand barcode scanner and microphone helped order from Amazon or the Echo Look embedded Alexa into a user’s closet. The company often shepherds potential future devices through the Build It program, where the product decision is based on pre-orders. That’s how one of three colorful designs for the Echo Dot by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg was chosen, as well as a smart sticky note printer.

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