Amazon's Halo Rise Bedside Sleep Tracker Takes An Unconventional Approach

Amazon is attempting to bring some extra functionality to your bedside with its Halo Rise sleep tracker. The new device promises cutting-edge sleep tracking ability, along with an alarm function that will make you feel as refreshed as possible when waking up. However, there were some glaring holes in Amazon's presentation that may take the shine off the new tracker. To get the most out of the device, you need to pair it with Alexa. This, according to Amazon, makes it "easier to check your sleep insights and personalize your sleep experience." 

However, the company may have missed a trick by not just building Alexa into the device. Amazon product enthusiasts may now have to clutter their bedside with both an echo dot and the Halo — when they may have been able to get away with a single device otherwise. Considering Alexa has found its way into cheap smartwatches, adding it to a $100+ device may not be that taxing. One of Amazon's selling points with the Halo Rise is its lack of a microphone or camera. But the apparent privacy that it provides is offset by the fact it will probably end up sitting right next to a camera and microphone-laden Amazon device in most people's bedrooms. Of course, you can just ditch the bedside Alexa and use the phone-based app instead.

The lack of Alexa built-in isn't the only limitation the Halo comes with. Couples who want to compare sleeping data will have to pick up a second device. Amazon has confirmed that the Halo is "only designed to track the primary user closest to it." There's no word on how much a second individual in the bed, along with your respective sleep positions, will affect the Halo's tracking.

Contactless sleep tracking is a big selling point

So what about the positives? The main selling point of the Halo is its wireless sleep tracking feature, and that is a major plus. Sleep tracking tends to be done with smartwatches, which could cause problems when those smartwatches need to be charged. Smartwatches can also be uncomfortable. Halo has none of those issues. As Amazon's Melissa Cha points out: "Halo Rise is designed to work intelligently in the background and give you an entirely new and effortless way to manage your sleep and achieve sleep-life harmony."

Halo Rise throws its users' breathing patterns and movements through an algorithm to determine what sleep phase they are experiencing and estimate their quality of sleep overall. Environmental data, including light levels and temperature, are also taken into account to give users an accurate picture of their sleeping patterns and what may be affecting them. It also includes an alarm function that simulates sunrise and tries to time itself with a lighter sleep phase. Amazon claims this will help its users wake up more refreshed than people who get roused from a deep sleep by a blaring alarm sound.

The Halo Rise is priced at $139.99 and is due to ship later this year. Amazon is also throwing in six months of its Halo fitness tracking membership, which gives access to a whole library of features across its Halo range of products. There's a chance these insights could take sleep tracking to the next level and ensure you are well rested. Though if some experts are to be believed, it could all be quite inaccurate and may actually make your sleep worse.