Amazon's Halo Rise is a $140 bedside sleep tracker that works by sensing you breathe

No cameras or wearables necessary.


Amazon wants to help you get better understanding of your sleep, but knows that many of us hate wearing something to bed just to track our rest. That's why it made the Halo Rise — a bedside lamp and sleep tracker that works without a camera or microphone to track the person resting closest to it. It'll also use machine learning to detect what sleep zones you're in and will cost $140 when it's available later this year.

It uses a "no-contact, low-energy sensor" to sense movement and respiratory patterns. Together with machine learning, Amazon can tell from the rising and falling or expanding and contracting of your body to determine your sleep stages throughout the night. Amazon says it "trained and validated the device's sleep algorithm against the clinical gold standard for sleep analysis called... overnight polysomnography."

If there's another person or animal sharing your bed, Amazon said its algorithm can detect and exclude their activity and only include your data in your sleep summary, which you'll see every day. The company will then offer you tips on how to sleep better, including suggestions on how to optimize your environment.

The Rise also has sensors to gauge the temperature, humidity and brightness of your room, and is also a lamp. It'll glow in accordance with sunrise times so you can wake up to a gradually brightening grow instead of having your retinas scorched off when you open your curtains. You can also set a smart alarm that will monitor your sleep stages and wake you at an ideal time instead of disrupting you in the middle of deep sleep.

The Rise will also work with Alexa and you can set a compatible Alexa device to start playing your favorite song as you're waking up, based on the Rise's insights. If you have personalized sleep routines, the Rise can also trigger them when you get in bed, turning off your lights and other devices for you.

Those concerned about privacy can turn off the sleep-tracking sensor whenever they want, and Amazon said that all Halo health data is encrypted in transit and at rest in the cloud. You'll also be able to download your health data, limit access to it or delete it altogether.

Though Amazon describes this as a "first of its kind bedside sleep tracker," Google already introduced something similar last year with the second-generation Nest Hub. That device uses the company's Soli radar sensor to monitor your breathing and is designed to be used by your bed, too. It doesn't offer the alarm and lights that the Halo Rise does, but is based on the same principle. Google's version didn't work perfectly — it was tricky to set up and didn't always know when I'd awoken. We'll have to wait till we can test the Halo Rise for ourselves to see how well Amazon's tracking works, but for now, it's an intriguing device, especially for those of us keen on getting sleep insights without having to wear a gadget to bed.

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