Amazon’s Halo View health band. (Amazon Photo)
Amazon is cancelling the subscription service that went along with its Halo wearable fitness device and bedside sleep tracker, as well as firing an unidentified number of employees from the team that developed the items.
The unexpected news on Wednesday afternoon is a part of a larger round of layoffs at the business that began in the latter half of last year. Additionally, the business today began informing those affected by its most recent wave of layoffs across Amazon Web Services, HR, Twitch, and Amazon Advertising.
The choice was made less than three years after Amazon debuted the Halo service and first Halo Band, which gained notoriety for both its core functions and for pushing the boundaries of privacy.
“We recently made the very difficult decision to stop supporting Amazon Halo effective July 31, 2023,” Amazon said on its website. “We are incredibly proud of the invention and hard work that went into building Halo on behalf of our customers, and our priorities are taking care of our customers and supporting our employees.”
Customers who have purchased Halo View, Halo Band, accessories, or the Halo Rise bedside gadget over the last 12 months will receive a full refund, according to a message that Amazon plans to send to customers.
The corporation also pledged to reimburse any pre-paid subscription costs for Halo that were not used. The subscription cost $3.99/month, although purchasers of the original Halo Band or Halo Rise received a six-month free trial, and purchasers of the sequel Halo View received a year-long free trial.
The first Halo Band and app, released in August 2020, offered add-on features that could assess body fat using 3D body modelling and listen to user chats to give feedback on voice tone.
A message that Amazon intends to send to customers states that buyers of the Halo View, Halo Band, accessories, or the Halo Rise bedside device during the previous 12 months would be given a full refund.
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The company also promised to cover any unused pre-paid subscription fees for Halo. Although buyers of the first Halo Band or Halo Rise received a six-month free trial, and buyers of the follow-up Halo View received a 12-month free trial, the membership cost $3.99/month.
Released in August 2020, the initial Halo Band and app included add-on features that could listen to user discussions to provide feedback on voice tone and detect body fat using 3D body modelling.
As some of you may be aware, today we announced that we are winding down the Halo program effective July 31, 2023.
In 2017, we envisioned building a new service and products dedicated to helping customers improve their individual health and wellness. Over the past few years, the team has invented tirelessly for customers, leading to features like Body, Tone, and Movement Health, as well as new, differentiated hardware.
The opportunity to invent on behalf of customers is why many employees join Amazon. I am so proud of the invention and hard work that went into building Halo, but after evaluating our current investments, our long-term goals, and in light of the current macroeconomic climate, we had to make a difficult decision. It was not taken lightly, believe me—and we recognize we are losing valued team members as a result.
We notified impacted employees in the U.S. and Canada today. In other regions, we are following local processes, which may include time for consultation with employee representative bodies and possibly result in longer timelines to communicate with impacted employees. We are supporting those we have to let go, and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support. I want to acknowledge and thank our impacted colleagues for the work they have done on behalf of our customers.
I know today’s news may lead to questions about our broader Devices business, so I want to be clear—I remain incredibly optimistic about our business and I am inspired every day by the great work you deliver for customers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your manager if you have any questions.