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New Amazon Halo Tone Feature Will Tell You to Sound More Positive

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“Our AI analyzes qualities of the customer’s voice such as pitch, intensity, tempo, and rhythm”

Amazon has come storming into the wearables market, today announcing the launch of its new Amazon Halo: a wristband (equipped with two microphones, among various other sensors) that is capable of measuring your body fat — and, perhaps startlingly to some, “analyzing energy and positivity in a customer’s voice”.

The feature, dubbed “Tone”, will help customers “better understand how they may sound to others, helping improve their communication and relationships” says Amazon. (If their stress is caused by having their $2 hazard pay cut, even as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth hits $200 billion, the Amazon Halo sadly won’t be able to help. It might be able to tell them to moderate their voice though).

The Amazon Halo band and app. Credit: BusinessWire.

The move comes as Gartner forecasts that worldwide end-user spending on wearable devices will total $52 billion (£39 billion) in 2020 alone, and as Google’s FitBit acquisition runs into regulatory headwinds.

How does Amazon Halo’s “Tone” Work?

Maulik Majmudar, M.D, the principle medical officer for Amazon Halo, explained how the technology works in a blog published August 27: “Tone is powered by advanced machine learning-based speech processing technologies.

“The Amazon Halo Band and Halo app use voice detection algorithms to pick up speech, remove background noise, and optimize battery life. Our AI analyzes qualities of the customer’s voice such as pitch, intensity, tempo, and rhythm to predict how others would perceive and describe the customer’s tone of voice, which creates a summary you can see and use to identify trends within your life.”

What Else Can It Do?

The Amazon Halo Band and 6 months of Halo membership are available for $64.99 in the US today (iOS and Android) and also feature sleep and activity tracking. (Computer Business Review is checking on European availability).

All health data is encrypted in transit and in the cloud, Amazon — which has faced privacy pressure over its retention of Alexa voice recordings and AWS AI training sets — insists; customers can download or delete their data at any time directly from the app.

“Tone is enabled by creating a personal voice profile, after which it begins capturing short samples of speech and providing insights and daily recaps”, Amazon notes. “Speech samples are always analyzed locally on the customer’s phone and automatically deleted after processing”.

 

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