The News Today
__
1.17.21
Why Amazon?

Amazon’s Judgy Wearable Tells You If You Sound “Condescending”

__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Sci-Fi Visions
Amazon

Fresh Lip

It’s perhaps the most invasive and judgmental piece of technology we’ve ever seen on the market — and, fittingly, it’s also a thinly veiled attempt to cash in on any data Amazon can get its hands on.

The tech giant’s new wearable, called Halo Band, literally listens to your every word, and it tells you if your voice is too “overbearing” or “irritated,” as The Washington Post reports.

The Post‘s reviewers were told by the device their voices were “opinionated,” “dismissive” and even “condescending.” The goal is to let users know if their speaking voices are offputting — a fraught and overbearing goal.

Invasive Tech

Did we mention that the gadget also creates a 3D models of your body shape and calculates body fat percentage? The device requires 360 degree smartphone photos of you standing in your underwear, wondering why you’ve spent money on this thing.

Most puzzling of all, Amazon is requiring an invitation for “early access” to buy the $100 unit.

Thin Ice

And early reviews of the ludicrous device aren’t exactly glowing.

“We hope our tone is clear here: We don’t need this kind of criticism from a computer,” the Post writes in its review of the wearable. “The Halo collects the most intimate information we’ve seen from a consumer health gadget — and makes the absolute least use of it.”

“I felt body-shamed and confused by the Halo,” New York Times tech writer Brian Chen wrote in his review, noting that it also “felt like a negative experience that failed to motivate me to get fit.”

The device at least can do to other things as well. It can monitor activity, heart rate, sleep patterns, and even skin temperature. It also doesn’t have a screen, meaning you’ll have to get your phone out to get any useful information out of your new wearable.

READ MORE: Amazon’s new health band is the most invasive tech we’ve ever tested [The Washington Post]

More on Amazon: Amazon Patent Makes the Most Horrible Gamers Play With Each Other