Very soon, the Amazon Halo fitness service will be using your smartphone’s camera to manage your move for your everyday workout. This feature will integrate with your smartphone’s camera and some cloud-based servers to create a scan of your “Movement Health.” After a 5 to 10-minute session where you put yourself into different poses for the camera, Amazon’s servers will analyse the video and use it to create a customized workout routine to improve your “stability, mobility, and posture.” This innovative service is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
Considering the privacy of the users, Amazon claims that the video of different poses of users is sent to its cloud servers, where it is analysed only by its algorithms and not by humans. However, after all these processes it is then promptly deleted both from the cloud and our phone. All the videos are encrypted in transit and securely operates and rests in Amazon’s cloud.
Njenga Kariuki, senior technical product manager for Amazon Halo says that its machine learning algorithms were created with a diverse set of bodies, “We take a responsibility to ensure that our algorithms deliver comparable performance across demographics and body types and we extensively test different dimensions across things like body types, different ethnicity groups, several different demographic dimensions.”
“The limitations we look at during the assessment are consistent across all customers,” he added. Kariuki also claims that the new tool “delivers comparable accuracy to an in-person assessment with a professional trainer.”
Amazon uses those percentages to create a “personalized program of corrective exercise videos” that are designed to improve your mobility. The company says that Halo will offer each user about five to 10 videos that will range from simple stretches to full workouts specific to their needs. So, while it’s nowhere near as ambitious as Apple Fitness Plus (or even Samsung’s Smart Trainer feature), it’s not designed to be.
Last year in August, Halo launched as a combination of a $99.99 fitness band and a $3.99 / month health subscription service. It was an obvious example of Amazon’s willingness to push the envelope of what kinds of metrics people might want from their quantified self-gadgets.
It offers a body fat scan that works very much like the Movement Health scan. The Halo Band can do all the typical health tracking things you’d expect from a fitness tracker i.e. sleep and other activities, but you also have the option to leave the microphone on so it can give you its take on your tone of voice throughout the day.
Movement Health doesn’t feel quite as invasive as those assessments, but whether it’s a useful enough feature to drive users to Amazon Halo remains to be seen. However, Apple Fitness Plus recently began offering videos specifically designed for beginners as well as “workouts tailored for both pregnant and elderly users.” Amazon’s new offering for Halo might be a part of a larger trend of providing more approachable fitness content for people who don’t aspire to have a daily workout routine.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.