Amazon shutters its Halo consumer device group

Amazon shutters its Halo consumer device group

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Amazon.com Inc. is shutting down its Halo business unit, which developed a series of fitness and sleep tracking devices for consumers.  

The company announced the decision in an internal memo that was obtained by The Verge today. In conjunction with the move, Amazon is discontinuing the Halo device series. The company confirmed the latter development in a blog post.

“We have made the difficult decision to wind down the Halo program, which will result in role reductions,” Melissa Cha, the vice president of Amazon’s smart home and health business, wrote in the internal memo. “More recently, Halo has faced significant headwinds, including an increasingly crowded segment and an uncertain economic environment.”

Amazon’s Halo unit debuted its first product, a fitness tracker called the Halo Band, in 2020. The device collects health data using a set of built-in sensors and provides access to a nutrition app. In late 2021, Amazon released an upgraded fitness tracker called the Halo View that includes an expanded sensor array. 

The most recent addition to the product series made its debut last September. The Halo View is a smart alarm that uses sensors and artificial intelligence software to track users’ sleep. According to Amazon, the device can automatically generate a sleep quality report based on the data it collects.

Alongside the Halo product series, the company sold a subscription service that provided additional features such as exercise programs and recipes. Amazon also offered a companion app that helped customers access health data from their devices. 

According to The Verge, Amazon plans to wind down the Halo division over the coming months. Some of the division’s employees will be let go in connection with the move. Amazon has stopped selling devices from the product series through its e-commerce marketplace. 

In a blog post, the company stated that customers’ existing Halo devices will work until August 1. Amazon will refund users who have purchased devices from the product series in the past year, as well as waive the monthly fee of the companion subscription service. 

“We continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments,” Amazon said in a statement. “ We are incredibly proud of the invention and hard work that went into building Halo on behalf of our customers, and our priorities are taking care of our customers and supporting our employees.”

Amazon continues to compete in multiple parts of the consumer device market. At a product event last September, the company released a new Kindle Scribe e-reader and upgraded two of its Echo smart speakers with a faster processor. Amazon also expanded its eero series of wireless networking devices.

Photo: Amazon

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