Amazon Unveils Sleep Tracking Device, Updates Echo, Kindle

Arrival of Halo Rise sleep tracker comes amid updates to Fire TV, Kindle, and new Echo devices that double as Wi-Fi mesh extenders

Amazon has refreshed its gadget portfolio at its virtual devices showcase, including its Echo devices and Kindle readers, but has also added a bedside sleep tracker device called the Halo Rise.

The Halo Rise is Amazon’s first dedicated sleep tracking device, that includes a new sleep monitor to measure a user’s sleep patterns, without the need to wear a device.

But Amazon has recognised privacy worries and the Halo Rise does not have any microphones or cameras. Instead, it is more like a bedside alarm clock that includes sensors and radar to track how well a person sleeps for, and for how long.

Bedside tracker

It also includes lights and a small speaker for alarm tones, to help a person wake up more gently than a traditional alarm clock.

Amazon’s announcement said that “Halo Rise uses built-in sensor technology, quietly working in the background to provide highly accurate insights and personalised sleep analysis. It comes with six months of Halo membership for $139.99 and will ship later this year.”

“Quality sleep is an incredibly important factor in our overall health and well-being,” said Melissa Cha, VP of Amazon Smart Home and Health. “In today’s busy world, getting more and better sleep is one of the areas that customers ask us about the most, which is why we’re tackling sleep head on.”

“Halo Rise is designed to work intelligently in the background and give you an entirely new and effortless way to manage your sleep and achieve sleep-life harmony,” said Cha.

Halo Rise tracks room temperature, humidity and light, plus the breathing patterns of the person closest to it. It seeks to provide insight to users about why they may or may not feel well-rested when they wake up.

Halo Rise works with Alexa. Users can ask a compatible Echo device to ask Alexa how they slept, sync Alexa with the Halo Rise smart alarm to be woken up by a person’s favourite song, or combine Halo Rise with other smart lights that can be controlled using just a person’s voice.

The user also has the ability to use Halo Rise as part of a personalised Alexa Routine.

For instance, when a person gets into bed, Alexa can automatically dim the lights in the bedroom, turn off the TV, and start a relaxing meditation. Additionally, the person can ask Alexa to pull up their sleep data on Echo Show, with the last night’s sleep report viewable on the device’s display.

The sleep device will encrypt health data and has no camera or microphone.

The Halo Rise is not a medical device and not FDA-approved, Amazon said. It seems to be only for the American market at the moment.

It comes after Amazon expands its health services. In July it announced it would buy primary care provider One Medical for $3.5 billion.

Other devices

Beyond the health move with Halo Rise, Amazon also announced a new Kindle e-reader with a pen for annotating books digitally.

It has also upgraded its Fire TV family, including the next generation Fire TV Cube – a streaming media player – and Alexa Voice Remote Pro, a remote with an all-new Remote Finder and customisable buttons.

At the same time Amazon also announced four new Echo devices, plus upgrades to Echo Studio Audio.

The all-new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock deliver up to two-times the bass of the previous generation, add a temperature sensor, double as eero mesh Wi-FI extenders.

“A true ambient experience is there to simplify your day-to-day life when you need it and fades into the background when you don’t,” said Nedim Fresko, VP of Amazon Alexa Devices.

For the first time, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock feature eero Built-in, which makes them the first Echo devices to serve as eero mesh Wi-Fi extenders and improve coverage in a person’s home. After account linking, eero Built-in can add up to 1,000 square feet of coverage to your existing eero mesh Wi-Fi network. eero Built-in will roll out to 4th Gen Echo on 20 October.

“This generation of Echo devices are designed with this vision in mind,” said Fresko. “With the upgraded audio and compact form factors, each of these new devices give customers more ways to make Alexa a seamless part of their day. And, with the new sensors and technology built in to Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock, customers can have Alexa do even more on their behalf.”

Amazon has also announced new a Blink wired floodlight camera, and the Blink Mini Pan Tilt, which adds a motorised mount to the Blink Mini (camera) to help keep an eye on pets or intruders.