Amazon enters the sleep-tracking market, with the Halo Rise
While there are already a number of sleep-tracking systems to choose between, many of them are made by small startups without much of a track record. Electronics giant Amazon has now thrown its hat in the ring, however, with the unveiling of the Halo Rise.
Announced this Wednesday (Sept. 28th), the Halo Rise is designed to sit on the user's bedside table, and it doesn't incorporate any wearable or bed-mounted components.
Instead, it monitors the user's respiration and movement patterns via an integrated radar sensor. That unit emits ultra-low-power radio signals, which are reflected off the user and received by multiple antennas on the Rise. Utilizing machine-learning-based algorithms, the device analyzes the radar data to determine how much time the user spends in each sleep phase – namely REM (rapid eye movement), light, and deep sleep.
Throughout the night, additional sensors monitor the bedroom's temperature, humidity, and light levels, all of which can adversely affect a person's sleep.
In the morning, the user can check out a sleep summary on the accompanying Amazon Halo app. That summary includes a graph showing how much time they spent in each sleep phase, an overall sleep score for that night, and recommendations for changes that could be made in their sleep environment.
The Halo Rise can also be used as a sunrise alarm clock, waking the user by gradually brightening a semi-circle of 300-lux LEDs. It additionally displays the time of day and has an audible alarm, plus it waits until the user is in light sleep before waking them – being woken from deep sleep can be quite jarring. Users are also able to utilize the LEDs as an adjustable-brightness reading lamp, and they can set them to simulate a sunset when going to sleep.
The device's sleep-tracking function doesn't need to be switched on, as it automatically starts when the user gets into bed. People with privacy concerns will be glad to know that it doesn't record any audio or images. And yes, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
The Halo Rise should be available later this year (initially just to US customers) priced at US$139.99 – that price includes six months of Halo membership, which provides "access to even more health and wellness-enhancing features." Prospective buyers can register for updates via the product webpage.