Amazon Halo uses your smartphone camera to assess your ‘exercise health’


Soon, Amazon’s Halo fitness service will offer to use your smartphone’s camera and some cloud-based AI to create a scan of your “Movement Health.” After a five to ten minute session where you put yourself in different poses in front of the camera, Amazon’s servers will analyze the video and use it to create a custom workout routine to improve your “stability, mobility and posture.” The service is expected to be launched “in the coming weeks”.

Similar to Halo’s body fat scan, Amazon says it analyzes the video it records for Movement Health sent to its cloud servers nothing but by its algorithms (and not humans), and is then immediately deleted from both the cloud and your phone. The videos are encrypted during transit and when they are (briefly) at rest in Amazon’s cloud. The Halo fitness band is not used in any particular way during the scan.

After the scan, you’ll be given a readout like the image you see above, which breaks down your body’s mobility into percentages — presumably percentages of ideal range of motion. Njenga Kariuki, senior technical product manager for Amazon Halo, says the machine learning algorithms were created with a diverse set of instances:

We take responsibility for ensuring that our algorithms deliver comparable performance across demographics and body types, and we extensively test different dimensions for things like body types, different ethnicity groups, and a number of different demographic dimensions.

However, the result of that training is an algorithm that applies the same ratings to all users, regardless of body type or mobility level. “The restrictions we look at during the review apply to all customers,” says Kariuki. Kariuki also claims that the new tool “delivers comparable accuracy to a personal assessment with a professional trainer.”

Amazon uses those percentages to create a “personalized program of corrective training videos” designed to improve your mobility. The company says Halo will provide each user with about five to 10 videos, ranging from simple stretches to full-blown workouts specific to their needs. So while it’s not nearly as ambitious as Apple Fitness Plus (or even Samsung’s Smart Trainer feature), it’s not designed for that.

Halo launched last August as a combination of a $99.99 fitness band and a $3.99 per month health plan. It was (and is) a clear example of Amazon’s willingness to push the boundaries of what kind of metrics people would want from their quantified self gadgets.

It provides a body fat scan very similar to the Movement Health scan. The Halo Band can do all the typical things you would expect from a fitness tracker (like sleep and activity), but you also have the option to leave the microphone on so you can make your voice heard everywhere. day.

Movement Health doesn’t feel as invasive as those reviews, but whether it’s a feature useful enough to drive users to Amazon Halo remains to be seen. Apple Fitness Plus recently started offering videos designed specifically for beginners, as well as “tailored workouts for both pregnant and older users.” Amazon’s new offering for Halo may be part of a larger trend to provide more accessible fitness content to those who aren’t aspiring to a daily workout routine.