Amazon presents Halo Rise, a contactless sleep tracker, but also much more

Decoding the mysteries of sleep has always been Dr. Brandon Peters’ dream job. A neurologist by training, he was first drawn to the field two decades ago when he helped his father seek treatment for sleep apnea. “He was the first person I diagnosed,” Dr Peters said. “I got him treated and noticed how much it really changed his life.” Her father stopped snoring and stopped falling asleep during the day. “He could go to a play or see a movie and stay awake,” he says.

Dr. Peters, a Stanford-trained sleep medicine physician who has practiced in hospitals across the United States and has written over 1,000 articles on the subject, now helps patients with sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. He lives in Seattle, which is also home to another innovator eager to help people get a good night’s sleep: Amazon.

At the annual Devices & Services Fall Launch event, Amazon unveiled a new device called Halo Rise, designed to help customers analyze and improve their sleep. Fitting perfectly on the bedside table, Halo Rise is a first-of-its-kind, contactless sleep tracker powered by the latest low-power sensor technology and advanced machine learning.

“That customer focus with Halo Rise has really been about doubling down on customers wanting to buy wellness devices they can trust. The information you get from it is rigorous. It is significant. It can really help you improve your sleep.

Dr. Vin Gupta, Chief Medical Officer at Amazon Devices & Services

Halo Rise comes with a smart alarm designed to wake you up at the perfect time to wake you up and a wake-up light. The LED light can simulate the sun’s subtle darkening or brightening to help users go to bed and help them wake up feeling refreshed. Halo Rise also includes sleep and environmental sensors that give customers insight into the quality of their sleep, helping them infer actions such as lowering room temperature, drawing shades, or reducing light levels to improve sleep.

“Like diet and exercise, sleep is the cornerstone of people’s overall well-being and health, and too many people struggle with it,” said Dr Vin Gupta, chief medical officer at Amazon Devices & Services, the business unit that developed Halo Rise. “The problem here is that for something so common, we don’t have good solutions at scale.”

Good sleep doesn’t have to be just a dream

Dr. Gupta is part of a large Amazon team that has spent the past few years building Halo Rise. This group also includes Dr. Peters, who helped lead the development of the machine learning-powered device’s sleep-tracking algorithm. Dr. Peters said most adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep. And if we don’t sleep well, “we don’t have a good idea of ​​our own deficits,” he said. “We wouldn’t recognize that we’re in a bad mood or that we’re making more mistakes at work or that we’re not thinking as clearly. But once we recover, once we get enough sleep – more hours or better quality – we are much more alert, we can think more clearly. We might even see an improvement in our mood.

Dr. Gupta said Amazon worked with partners like Dr. Peters because it wanted to create “a wellness device that people can trust, that has evidence behind it, and that the medical community can adopt so we can really start moving the needle here.” on what digital health means for people at home. He said Amazon was working with other third-party sleep scientists to further validate Halo Rise’s accuracy.

Dr Gupta also said the pandemic has increased people’s attention to their health. “All this has allowed us to offer products that meet the pressing needs of customers. It’s so important that the information provided by Halo Rise really means something to customers, and I think it does. They can be confident that the information they get in the app in the morning is easy to understand and actionable,” Dr Gupta said.

“Set It and Forget It”

The Amazon team designed Halo Rise with robust accuracy and sleep insights because they wanted customers to meaningfully interact with their sleep data. “We want Halo Rise to allow the customer to improve their sleep performance, while being a true ambient product that works intelligently in the background,” said Cody Gordh, product manager for the team that built the device. “If we can make life easier for our customers and help them improve their sleep, all without requiring a lot of thought or hands-on interaction, then we believe the potential of Halo Rise is limitless,” he said. . “There’s something so magical about the ‘set it and forget it’ experience with Halo Rise, where all you have to do is go to bed and wake up. Everything works automatically.

The hands-off nature of the device points to a concept Amazon calls ambient intelligence, the idea that digital systems, services, and devices can work together in the background on our behalf, helping us create a world that can anticipate our needs so we can focus on the things that matter to us. Halo Rise does this job in several ways.

For starters, it’s contactless. “This allows customers to track their breath and movement without needing to wear anything on their body, such as a wristband or watch,” said Chirag Bhavsar, senior wireless technology manager at Amazon Group. Devices & Services. Using low-power sensor technology and a sleep tracking algorithm trained and validated against nighttime polysomnography, the clinical gold standard for sleep analysis, Halo Rise automatically gives you detailed insights and accurate on sleep, even if your partner (or pet) goes to bed first. .

Where other contactless sleep trackers require nightly setup, Halo Rise offers another innovation called Primary User Tracking. This means that the device automatically follows the primary user, who is the person closest to the device, with no user configuration required. So if the primary user slips into bed after their partner has fallen asleep, the sleep algorithm detects this and adjusts the sleep results accordingly. Gordh said ensuring that Halo Rise only collects primary user data presented particularly difficult machine learning challenges. But given Amazon’s premium on privacy — “that was a central tenet of everything we did with this product,” Gordh said — these were significant challenges that Gordh and the team faced. worked tirelessly to resolve.

Core user tracking is just one of the many privacy features built into Halo Rise. The device has no microphone or camera, and its buttons can be used not only to control the light and the smart alarm, but also to manually turn off sleep tracking with a long press. Additionally, “we really leaned into giving customers control over their data,” Gordh said. This means the device doesn’t collect any information it doesn’t need to improve your sleep, and customers can upload or delete their Halo health data, including sleep data, at any time directly from the app. Halo.

Halo Rise may be more than a sleep tracker

Introducing Amazon’s Halo Rise | Amazon News

The device’s non-contact, privacy-focused sleep tracking lets you improve your sleep without interrupting your nightly or morning routines. In fact, Halo Rise not only doesn’t get in the way of your routines, but can also make them more personalized.

Using Dr. Peters’ background research, the Halo team designed a smart alarm and wake-up light to help you start your day feeling refreshed. The light simulates the colors and illumination of sunrise. The alarm, on the other hand, works in concert with the device’s sleep algorithm, which monitors your sleep stages and signals the alarm when it’s the perfect time to wake up within a set window. This is something that, according to Dr. Peters, “really moves science forward”.

But the smart alarm and wake-up light aren’t the only ways the device can make your sleep experience more personalized. Halo Rise works even better with Alexa. If connected to a compatible Echo device, you can sync your Halo Rise smart alarm so you can be woken by your favorite song, or combine the device with other smart lights that can be controlled using just your voice . You can also use the device as part of a custom Alexa routine. For example, when you go to bed, Alexa can automatically dim the bedroom lights, turn off the TV, and start a relaxing meditation.

Smart alarm, wake-up light, and seamless Alexa integration help you create a smarter, more personalized sleep experience, making Halo Rise more than just a sleep tracker.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand out, first and foremost, for its meaningful presentation of precise, contactless sleep data.

“Especially in the competitive landscape of sleep trackers, I would say Amazon has been very patient in really thinking about how we can add value for the customer,” Dr. Gupta said. “That customer focus with Halo Rise has really been about doubling down on customers wanting to buy wellness devices they can trust. The information you get from it is rigorous. It is significant. It can really help you improve your sleep.

Learn more about new devices announced at the annual Devices & Services Fall Launch event.

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