Amazon introduces new bedside gadget that monitors you while sleeping

Did you get a good night’s rest? For $139, Amazon’s Halo Rise can tell you. And you can integrate it into your burgeoning inventory of Amazon gadgets.

Will it be another bit of personal data that Amazon collects on individuals?

A catchphrase from Amazon advertising boasts that the new gadget “Quietly works the night shift.”

Amazon wants to watch you sleep. Well… not watch watch. But at least sense.

To help you learn why you did or did not get a good night’s sleep, Halo Rise uses non-contact sensors and AI to measure sleep-related information. It tracks room temperature, humidity, light… and your breathing patterns.

Two years ago, Amazon introduced its Halo Band fitness tracker, which is something like a Fitbit. The fitness tracker has some ability to track sleep patterns, but the Rise brings that to the next level. It can also interface with Alexa to automate routines in the house.

“You also have the ability to use Halo Rise as part of a personalized Alexa Routine. For instance, when you get into bed, Alexa can automatically dim the lights in the bedroom, turn off the TV, and start a relaxing meditation,” Amazon shared in a press release about the device. “Additionally, you can ask Alexa to pull up your sleep data on Echo Show, with the last night’s sleep report viewable on the device’s display.”

Halo Rise is equipped with a sleep algorithm that was “trained and validated against overnight polysomnography—the clinical gold standard for sleep analysis,” according to the presser.

Lest you be concerned, Amazon wants you to know that your personal information is safe with them.

“Health data is encrypted in transit and at rest in the cloud,” they claim.

But taking their word for it could be risky, as the company has a reputation for hoovering up user data, including data on homes that use their Roomba robotic vacuum.

On a technology website, Amazon states, “We treat your palm signature just like other highly sensitive personal data and keep it safe using best-in-class technical and physical security controls.”

So, it’s encrypted. How encrypted is it, though? People are already wondering whether Amazon is on the level about this.

In this technological age when competitive edge comes through the collection of data, wariness toward Amazon products is probably wise. More than just cynical people are wary. J.D. Power, for instance.

“It’s hard to think of another organization that has as many touch points as Amazon does to an individual,” said J.D. Power tech research leader Ian Greenblatt. “It’s almost overwhelming, and it’s hard to put a finger on it.”

Amazon is not alone. Apple and Google also have wearables that measure body fat percentage. And then data comes out about Americans and their body fat.

Nevertheless, Forbes is excited about it.

If Americans are concerned about such devices and their privacy, they have yet to show it in great enough numbers to affect sales. The R&D that went into this must have been extremely expensive, but Amazon no doubt expects the product to turn a tidy profit.


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