Amazon's Fitness Tracker Hits The Market
Amazon took a big jump into the wearables fitness market yesterday by announcing that its Amazon Halo is available in the U.S. for all customers after launching into Early Access in August.
The Halo Band and app helps users measure their health and wellness by focusing on five core features: activity, body, tone, sleep and lab. Some of the things the Halo Band measures include movement, body fat percentage, sleep and even qualities of your voice to help strengthen communication.
New features include on-demand workouts from leading brands and trainers as well as insights, which detects trends or patterns and offers advice on how to better understand or change them. The Halo Band costs $99.99 and comes with a free six month Halo membership, which will then cost $3.99 per month.
"The Halo Band is a comfortable wristband purpose-built to focus on your health and wellness, so you can focus on your life," Amazon Halo vice president Melissa Cha wrote. "That's why it doesn't have a screen, and won't constantly buzz or distract you."
The Halo Band has already attracted criticism over privacy concerns as Senator Amy Klobuchar sent a letter last week to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting details on the actions the HHS is taking to ensure the health information taken from wearable fitness devices is secure.
"Recent reports have raised concerns about the Halo's access to this extensive personal and private health information. Among publicly available consumer health devices, the Halo appears to collect an unprecedented level of personal information," Klobuchar wrote. "This raises questions about the extent to which the tracker’s transmission of biological data may reveal private information regarding the user’s health conditions and how this information can be used."
Amazon said the it is reviewing the letter and has been in touch with Klobuchar's office.
"Privacy is foundational to how we designed and built Amazon Halo. Body and Tone are both optional features that are not required to use the product," Amazon spokeswoman Molly Wade said.
With the availability of Amazon Halo coming just a month after Amazon debuted Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon is proving it sees a large opportunity in all things health.
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Pfizer working to double vaccine doses. Pfizer is working with the U.S. government to supply an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine next year as the first doses began shipping in the U.S. over the weekend. "We are working very collaboratively to try to find a solution and be able to allocate those 100 million [doses] in the second quarter if possible or a lot of them," Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told CNBC. Under Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer agreed to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine.
EA acquires Codemasters. Electronic Arts has agreed to acquire Codemasters, which is known for its racing video games, in a $1.2 billion cash deal. The deal follows news that Take-Two Interactive had agreed to acquire Codemasters last month for just under $1 billion. "The Codemasters Board has considered various aspects of the EA Offer and considers the EA Offer to represent a superior offer for Codemasters' shareholders as compared with the Take-Two Offer," Codemasters said in a statement.
McDonald's runs creative holiday promotion. In its latest attempt to drive people to its app, McDonald's is running a promotion through Christmas Eve that will see daily in-app deals featuring favorite items from holiday characters such as Santa Claus and the Grinch. "After a year like 2020, I think we could all use some extra cheer this season," McDonald's U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley said. "What better way to celebrate and get into the holiday spirit than with free McDonald's menu favorites for everyone including Rudolph, the Abominable Snow Monster and yes, even Scrooge."
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Domino's rewards employees. Domino's announced it will pay out $9.6 million, or up to $1,200 in bonus compensation per person, to more than 11,500 hourly employees and drivers. "We strive every day to uphold our values of doing the right thing and putting people first," Dominos CEO Ritch Allison said. "We have the honor and privilege of being open and operating throughout the U.S. during this crisis, and we recognize that we could not be doing it without the hard work and dedication of our team members. This is our way of saying thank you to these remarkable people."