Amazon.com Inc. introduced a wearable fitness gadget called the Halo Band, entering the market for health monitoring devices dominated by Apple Inc. and Fitbit Inc.
The wrist band uses what Amazon describes as artificial intelligence software to monitor a range of personal wellness metrics, from physical activity to sleep and even mood. The device’s features include 3D scans for body fat and voice-tone detection to analyze emotion. The related Halo service will come with an app, and users will be able to connect their accounts to third-party programs to further monitor weight and health.
Amazon started a gadget business with its Kindle e-readers more than a decade ago. Today the company is among the largest sellers of consumer electronics in the US, led by Echo smart speakers and Fire TV streaming devices. Much of that unit’s activity in recent years has been geared toward expanding the domain of Alexa, the voice software that powers the Echo.
But the company was widely expected to enter the wearable devices category, a market that researcher Gartner estimated would rack up $52 billion in sales in 2020, primarily smartwatches. Bloomberg reported last year that Amazon was working on a wearable device capable of recognizing human emotions.