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Halo fitness band and app: Amazon’s entry into the fitness space is ambitious, but odd

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Amazon's Halo fitness tracker will measure your body fat... and tone of voice?

Amazon has entered the health and fitness world with Halo, a subscription service and accompanying fitness band that unlocks an array of health metrics, including activity, sleep, body fat and tone of voice analysis, to determine how you sound to others. Amazon’s entry into the fitness space is odd indeed, and ambitious. And we’re just getting our minds wrapped around it. 

The band itself looks a lot like a screenless Fitbit tracker, but with a few different elements: It has temperature sensing, much like Fitbit’s newest smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense, and a microphone that continually scans a wearer’s voice to determine emotional tone. Yes, it’s a lot to take in. And the service is immediately available for early access. We haven’t even had a chance to try it out yet. 

The membership part will start at $65 for the first six months ($100 once the early access deal is over) and then $3.99 a month after that. (International prices aren’t currently available, but $65 converts to about £50 or AU$90.) The subscription to Halo includes the basic fitness band that has one button, no screen and tracks your heart rate, steps and temperature. The lack of screen means you’ll have to rely on the mobile app to see all your data, but it does a lot more than just count your steps and log your weight. 

A tone-analyzing, Amazon health band that also lets you scan your body fat may sound like Black Mirror incarnate, but it’s also opening up some ideas in fitness that we’ve never seen before.

Body fat analysis with a smartphone camera 

Amazon thinks the concept of weight loss is flawed, and that body fat is a much better predictor of health.

Most of us have been conditioned to obsess over our weight. The entire diet industry was built on it with programs, apps and devices that revolve around ways to lose pounds. 

But weight can fluctuate daily based on factors including humidity, medication, menstrual cycle and illness. Plus muscle is more dense than fat, and a scale can’t tell the difference between the two. You could literally work your ass off building muscle and burning fat, and not see the numbers on the scale go down.

Rather than relying on weight, Halo focuses on body fat percentage, which is less volatile and takes a lot more time and work to change. 

The gold standard in the medical world for body composition analysis is a DEXA scan (dual-energy absorptiometry), which can cost up to $100 at a lab. The Halo app does it all using your smartphone camera. Once you take your photos, the app automatically eliminates everything else in the background, calculates body fat percent based on body indicators, and then creates a 3D model of your body, which is both cool and terrifying. The app requires you to wear minimal form-fitting clothing and trust Amazon to take a picture of you wearing it. The entire process takes seconds. 

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Amazon’s Halo app makes a 3D render of your body to analyze body fat, while the fitness band keeps tabs on sleep and activity. 


Amazon

If you’re feeling uncomfortable, that’s not surprising: The idea of body-scanning with a camera is already an awkward proposition. Amazon doing this on a health platform makes it feel more so. The sample body-scan images Amazon showed me look very personal — not necessarily something I’d ever want anyone else to see.

That’s why Amazon promises that the finished body scans stay on your phone and won’t be shared with anybody, including the company, unless you opt into that. According to Amazon, “the images are processed in the cloud, but encrypted in transit and processed within seconds, after which they’re automatically deleted from Amazon’s systems and databases. All scan images are fully deleted within 12 hours. The scan images aren’t viewed by anyone at Amazon and aren’t used for machine learning optimizations.”

Watch that tone! 

Halo also offers a Tone analysis, which has nothing to do with body tone, but rather analyzes the nuances of your voice to paint a picture of how you sound to others. It can let you know when you’ve sounded out of line, weirdly enough. 

The fitness band has two built-in mics to capture audio and it listens for emotional cues. The company says it’s not intended to analyze the content of your conversation, just the tone of your delivery. It takes periodic samples of your speech throughout the day if you opt in to the feature. You enable the microphones by tapping the side button and you’ll know when the mic is off when a red LED lights up on the band. 

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Amazon

The voice scanning pulls out the wearer’s specific voice in conversations and delivers analysis with related emotional-tone words (like “happy,” or “concerned” in the Halo app). The idea, according to Amazon, is to help guide you to deliver better tones of voice and speaking styles, like a vocal form of good posture. It isn’t intended as a form of psychological analysis, but it seems awfully hard to draw the line on a concept like this. 

Amazon’s been exploring the idea of emotional tone-sensing since at least 2018, but this is the first time it’s approached the idea in any device. And according to Amazon, the Tone feature is only available on the Halo band for now. It will be limited to the band’s microphone, but Amazon sounds open to exploring the idea on other devices, depending on how the early access response goes from first-wave wearers. It’s a very odd thing to put on a fitness band, and we have no idea what this is like to use yet.

Amazon promises that Tone voice samples are encrypted and stored only on a wearer’s phone (shared from the band via Bluetooth with the encrypted key), are deleted after analysis and won’t be shared to the cloud or used to build machine-learning models.

Sleep analysis with temperature tracking

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The sleep analysis includes a body temperature to detect variations that may impact sleep. 


Amazon

The app provides a comprehensive sleep analysis with a breakdown of the different stages of sleep and overall sleep score, much like other fitness trackers. It also goes beyond the basics by keeping track of your overall body temperature during sleep and creating a baseline for each person. It then charts your average temperature each night relative to your baseline to help you identify variations that could affect your health and the quality of your sleep. 

The Halo band won’t provide a specific body temperature, similar to the way other temperature wearable devices like the Oura Ring already work.

Temperature has become a trending wearable metric in the COVID-19 era: The Oura Ring has one and Fitbit’s newest Sense watch has one too. Amazon’s Halo team is pursuing research for COVID-19 symptom detection on its wearables, much like other health wearable companies, but no specific studies or plans have been laid out yet.

Activity tracking: A week at a glance 

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The activity app is based on a weekly point system. 


Amazon

Halo also does basic fitness tracking based on the information from the band. It can automatically track walks and runs, but you’ll have to go into the app and tag any other workouts manually. 

It rewards you for any type of movement or activity, but gives more points for more intense workouts and subtracts points for sedentary time. And it doesn’t keep a daily tally of your activity, your score is based on the points you accrued during the entire week. The entire picture of exercise, sedentary time and active time is combined into one tally.

Amazon’s sleep and activity scores and other AI tools will require an Amazon Halo subscription; otherwise, the band will default to more basic tracking data. Much like Fitbit and its Premium service, this looks to be continuing a trend of fitness devices that expect a subscription model as part of the package.

A lot of labs and partners, but no Google or Apple integration

A Labs section of Amazon Halo looks similar to what’s on Fitbit’s Premium service, with a lot of multiweek health and fitness goals to opt into, and partners lined up from OrangeTheory to Weight Watchers. Amazon promises these challenges are scientifically vetted, but it also sounds like these challenges will keep being added to over time. 

But at least at launch, Halo will not tie in to Apple’s HealthKit or Google’s Fit App which puts it at a disadvantage with people who are already deeply invested in either for health tracking. Amazon is leaning on Weight Watchers, John Hancock Vitality wellness program, and a few others that will be able to hook into Amazon Halo health data.

The looming privacy question

There’s a lot of process in terms of features, and while some seem interesting and innovative, the biggest barrier to entry is privacy. Sharing any kind of health data (let alone unflattering seminudes) requires next-level trust, and you might not be prepared to give Amazon that trust. The company doesn’t exactly have the most pristine track record when it comes to keeping user data private. Alexa-enabled devices have been in the hot seat for storing private conversations “for machine learning purposes.” And Amazon’s Ring doorbell has had a series of privacy dust-ups. 

Halo puts privacy in your hands by allowing you to opt out of data sharing with Amazon and third-party apps as well as disable the microphone on the band, but it’s still going to be an uphill battle. That is unless its features prove to be earth-shattering and worth the privacy risk, which remains to be seen.

Amazon is late on arrival

The lack of connection to Apple or Google is telling. Amazon’s making a play in the health and fitness data space, and with Google, Fitbit and Apple already deep in, it’s a big question as to how Amazon will make waves. Or, where Amazon Halo will go next. It’s a platform as much as a wearable, and it sounds like Halo’s early-access experiment may just be the tip of the iceberg.

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Miguel Oliveira qualified eighth for the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Miguel Oliveira qualified eighth for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) qualified this Saturday in eighth position at the Japanese MotoGP Grand Prix, 16th of 20 races of the season, despite a last-minute crash.

The Portuguese from the Austrian brand set his best lap of 1.55.895 minutes, finishing 0.681 seconds behind fastest Spaniard Marc Marquez (Honda). France’s Johann Zarco (Ducati) was second with 0.208 seconds and South African Brad Binder (KTM) was third with 0.323 seconds.

“I had good speed and potential in the second quarter and on this particular lap. [a última], but I was on the floor in the ninth turn. It was a shame, but I have confidence in tomorrow (Sunday),” commented the Portuguese rider in statements released by the KTM team. “It was difficult to prepare for the race, but we’ll see.” [o que vai acontecer]”- concluded Miguel Oliveira.

The Portuguese left the third row of the grid after falling just three minutes before the end of the session, marred by rain that caused a delay of more than an hour and had already forced the cancellation of the third free game. training session, at night. The fall of the Portuguese rider occurred in the third sector of the track, at a time when his results were improving. When 15 minutes of this second qualifying stage (Q2) ended, Oliveira finished in fourth place.

However, several riders were still halfway to the last lap and the Almada rider ended up being overtaken by Spaniards Jorge Martin (Ducati), Brad Binder and Aprilia Spaniards Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales.

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Pole position was won by Marc Marquez 1,071 days after he was the fastest in qualifying for the MotoGP World Championship, namely the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix.

“I am very pleased with the pole position. This morning I felt very strong on the wet track and decided to give it a try. This is very important for us and for the future. Tomorrow, on a dry surface, everything will be different. history,” said the Spanish rider, who has already become world champion eight times.

The rain that hit the Motegi track became a headache for the riders and the organization, which was forced to interrupt the Moto2 qualifying nine minutes before the end and cancel the third free practice in MotoGP.

Traffic on the track only resumed after more than an hour, and the wet track was the cause of several accidents, including that of a Portuguese KTM rider who slid off the pavement without physical consequences.

Johann Zarco’s Ducati was the fastest today, reaching 302 kilometers per hour, while Oliveira’s KTM lost 30 kilometers per hour in a straight line (the maximum speed achieved by the Portuguese was 270 kilometers per hour). Luca Marini’s Ducati was the slowest, reaching 255.9 kilometers per hour, leaving the Italian in 10th place.

Champion and championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) of France finished ninth behind Miguel Oliveira, while World Cup runner-up Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) of Italy finished 12th and last in the second quarter, bringing together the top 10 fastest in free practice and the top two in the first quarter.

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Already the Italian Enea Bastianini (Ducati), the winner of the previous stage in Aragon, remained in Q1, where he fell without physical consequences.

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Arapiraquense makes humorous videos to give Portuguese advice: “You learn and laugh” | alagoas

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Arapiraquense makes humorous videos to give Portuguese advice: "You learn and laugh" |  alagoas

“You learn and you laugh” is how Erivaldo Amancio defines the Portuguese language content he offers online. Born in Arapiraque, Alagoas, he humorously gives advice and answers questions about the Portuguese language.

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Erivaldo has 767k followers on Instagram and over 17.5k followers on YouTube. It all started a year and a half ago when he got scolded in a comment on social media.

Because the swearing contained several grammatical errors, Erivaldo responded by posting a video teaching a “lesson” to the hater.

“It happened more than once. Some of these videos were posted on humorous Instagram profiles. It made me stand out,” he said.

A literature student at the Federal University of Alagoas (Ufal), Erivaldo wants to prepare even more for face-to-face classes when he is near the end of the course. He says the purpose of the profile is to encourage followers to seek out more knowledge.

“Tips on the web are just a seed, the fruit of which can be curiosity about objects,” he explained.

Through social media, Erivaldo responds to his followers’ doubts about the Portuguese language.

Erivaldo’s profile is also in demand by contestants and students preparing for Enem.

“[Os seguidores] it is said to be a very interesting way of learning. Many regret not learning from teachers who use humor in the classroom,” he said.

Watch the latest videos of g1 AL

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Who is the Portuguese that FIFA 23 has included in the list of potential stars?

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Who is the Portuguese that FIFA 23 has included in the list of potential stars?

FIFA 23 is available September 30th, and EA Sports is starting to shed some light on some of the game’s oddities.

If you like to develop talent in Career Mode, you should have a list of young people at hand: these are the 20 players with the most growth potential, that is, those who can improve their general. Among them is a Portuguese.

Diogo Monteiro is one of the “hidden gems” of FIFA 23 for EA Sports. The 17-year-old centre-back who plays for Servette has general 54, but with a potential of 24 points, he could at best go up to 78.

Who is this young Portuguese? Despite his young age – born in 2005 – he already has some experience. Moreover, this season he played three matches for Servette with a total duration of 17 minutes, divided between the championship and the Swiss Cup.

Diogo Monteiro, the son of Portuguese, was born on Swiss soil and started training at Etoile Carouge, but arrived in Servette to play for the under-15 team. In the 2020/21 season, he made his debut in the first team at the age of 16 years and 37 days, having the status of the youngest representative of the Geneva club.

The central defender has made 33 appearances for the Portuguese youth teams, which he has represented since his youth. He is the captain of the 2005 generation, and it was with this status that he reached the European U-17 Championship played this year, in which Portugal reached the semi-finals, having been eliminated from France. Diogo Monteiro, by the way, worked every minute of the competition.

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He was recently called up by Rui Bento to the under-19 team.

Check out the respective gallery to see which players have the most growth potential in FIFA 23.

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