Amazon has unveiled a radar-like sleep tracking device called Halo Rise at its September Hardware event. The device was presented alongside the stylus-powered Kindle Scribe and new Echo speakers.
We knew such a gadget was in the works as the retail giant had secured FCC approval for it late last year. The documentation details a device that sits at your bedside and sends out a low energy, millimeter-wave radar to sense your breathing while you are lying asleep. This is similar to the echo location system used by bats.
The technology is not new
This unconventional approach to sleep tracking is actually not new. For example, Google’s second generation Nest Hub has that type of sleep sensing feature. And there are other such devices.
A number of years back we reviewed Sleep Score Max. Just like Halo Rise, it is contactless and requires no mattress strips or wristbands to track your sleep. And it also monitors breathing patterns which can be used to help identify signs of sleep apnea. The condition is characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. One billion people suffer from it to some extent.
Essential reading: The best gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring
There are devices on the market that are already able to monitor for sleep apnea. Withings is leading the bunch with its Sleep Analyzer tracking pad. More recently the French outfit has extended the functionality to the Scanwatch. This makes the timepiece the first wrist device able to monitor for the condition.
You’ll get a plethora of data, wake-up light, smart alarm
The Halo Rise is a fairly attractive device that is meant to be positioned near your bedside. From there, it can detect your presence and figure out when you have fallen asleep. Its algorithms will kick in at that stage to monitor how much time you’ve spend in Light, REM and Deep Sleep.
The thing will also measure light levels, humidity and temperature in your room. All these factors can influence the quality of your sleep so it is useful to monitor them. Other functionality includes a wake-up light and a smart alarm that will rise you out of slumber when you are in a light stage of sleep. This ensures you wake up as refreshed as possible.
In the morning you can fire up the Halo app to view your sleep summary. This is quite detailed and also includes a sleep score and insights to help you improve your nightly rest.
To ensure privacy, Halo Rise does not have a microphone or camera. But the bad news in that is that Amazon Alexa is not built into the device. And you need to pair the gizmo with Alexa to get the most out of it. This can be the the phone-based app or an Alexa-enabled device. It seems like a missed opportunity for Amazon not to add the feature to Halo Rise.
The Halo Rise will set you back $139. This includes a six-month trial Halo membership. The sleep tracker is not available just yet, but you will be able to purchase it later this year.
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