Amazon is shutting down its Halo division. In an email the company sent to users on Wednesday, it said it would stop supporting all devices under the health brand, including the recently released Halo Rise sleep tracker, on July 31st, 2023. As part of the shutdown, Amazon is also laying off an unspecified number of employees. The company did not immediately respond to Engadget's comment request.
“We have made the difficult decision to wind down the Halo program, which will result in role reductions,” Melissa Cha, the company vice-president of smart home and health, told staffers in a memo obtained by The Verge. “More recently, Halo has faced significant headwinds, including an increasingly crowded segment and an uncertain economic environment. Although our customers love many aspects of Halo, we must prioritize resources and maximize benefits to customers and the long-term health of the business.”
In its email to Halo users, Amazon said it would fully refund all Halo device and accessory purchases made in the last 12 months. The company will also refund any unused prepaid Halo subscription fees. If you were paying month-to-month for service, you won't be charged any additional subscription fees. Come August 1st, the Halo companion app will stop functioning, as will all Halo devices. If you wish to download or delete your data, you can do so from the software's Settings menu. Amazon will erase all remaining data on August 1st. You can send your soon-to-be potatoes to the company for disposal through the Amazon Recycling Program.
The demise of the Halo brand shouldn't come as a surprise. Last month, Amazon announced it would lay off 9,000 employees. That's in addition to the 18,000 jobs it cut at the start of the year. Amazon was also late to the health and fitness segment. It announced the first product in the family, the Halo Band, in mid-2020, and it arrived without much fanfare, in part due to the fact some of its features were controversial.