How Does Amazon Halo Band Measure Body Fat?
The way the Amazon Halo Band estimates the body mass of the owner is something that strikes many people as a miracle. After all, we are all used to the conventional measuring balance we use to check our weights.
The Amazon halo uses the smartphone connected to the band to take pictures of the owner’s body and uses these pictures to build a 3-D model of the body. It then uses machine learning to estimate body fat. The estimate is often very accurate.
Of course, this is not explanatory enough. Let’s look at this amazing technology in depth and discuss some possible privacy concerns that come with it.
The Amazon Halo and Halo Band is a wellness scheme by Amazon. The halo is the whole fitness scheme itself, while the halo band is the physical gadget that detects all your activities and sends them to the app to sync all data. Apart from its regular functions like monitoring activities and periods of sleep, the Halo service also has some pretty neat features.
One of these remarkable features of the Halo is that you can measure your body fat. Wait, what? Yes, exactly! The scheme uses state-of-the-art technology to measure your body fat through your smartphone.
The halo band itself isn’t involved in the process of measuring body fat. Rather, the process is wholly situated on the halo app of your smartphone. The app features a body scanning tool that photographs the owner’s body from head to ankle to create a 3-D model. These photographs are taken from four different angles to ensure the highest possible accuracy.
After the model is built, the app uses machine learning technology to calculate the body fat of the model. Amazon claims that this method is as accurate as the method doctors use, a claim that can neither be confirmed nor refuted for now.
The body fat detected will stay on your data and will be updated continuously. With every activity or milestone, you can take pictures again to track your fat gain or loss.
Privacy Concerns From the Halo Band Body Fat Measurement
The world we are living in now is one where the presence of big tech companies drives our daily lives. Many of these companies have our location data, preferences, voice, etc. Of course, it is not unfounded to worry about possible privacy concerns of stripping like a jaybird to take pictures that will be uploaded to any database.
There are surely privacy concerns, just as there are privacy concerns with almost every part of big data. Amazon says that the pictures are deleted from the cloud immediately after the model is built and will only remain on your phone. Do we trust that this is true? Hardly. But many of us already use Alexa and other such devices in our daily lives.
Ultimately, the question of privacy depends on what you are comfortable with. While chances are the pictures won’t be touched even if they stay on the cloud, if you are uncomfortable with the slight possibility that your pictures will stay on a cloud, you should steer clear of the feature.
Other Features of the Halo Band
The Halo device is designed to be no more than a passive tracker, which is apparent in the fact that the sensor module doesn’t support connectivity technologies like WiFi, GPS, or cellular radio.
The sensor module features an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart rate monitor, two microphones, an LED indicator light, and a button to turn the microphones on or off. The microphones aren’t there for you to speak to Alexa, as the halo band doesn’t have Alexa integration. Rather, the microphones are there for the voice tone analysis of the band.
This feature allows the band to record snippets of your voice and send them to the halo app. The app then analyses the snippets and uses them to determine your emotional state at the time. When signing up for the feature, the halo app asks you to read back a text so it will distinguish your voice from that of people around you.
Ensure that there are no privacy issues and that the voice snippets aren’t sent to the Amazon cloud. Rather, they are sent directly to your phone for analysis.
One feature of the Amazon Halo is that it allows you to measure body fat without a scale. It does this by using machine learning technology to analyze a 3-D model of the person’s body. This model is built from four pictures of the head to ankle taken from different angles. This method of measuring body fat has proven to be surprisingly accurate, although it’s hard to say if it holds the candle to using scales. We think not!