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Amazon Halo just got a useful upgrade for Alexa speakers

Amazon Halo just got a useful upgrade for Alexa speakers
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Amazon Halo now works with Alexa — but not in the way you think. Unlike some of its wearable rivals that offer Amazon's voice assistant built-in, the company's own fitness tracker just launched an opt in-only skill that pairs Halo to Alexa-enabled smart speakers.

Although it's one of the best fitness trackers, the $99.99 Halo didn't offer smarts like Siri on Apple Watch 6 or Alexa on the Fitbit Versa 3. It felt odd, since the company seemingly puts Alexa in everything. The new Halo skill for the voice assistant introduces a synergy that perhaps was missing when the display-less activity band launched in the fall.

Amazon Halo offers a holistic look at your health with standard features like heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, and more unusual tools like a body fat scanner and tone analysis. 

So if users opt-in to the new Halo skill for Alexa, they can ask their voice assistant to hear all this data gathered by their fitness tracker. You can ask Alexa when you took your last body scan, how many body points you've achieved this week and more. The skills works on any of the best Alexa speakers — not just Amazon Echo — as well as on your mobile Alexa app.

Given its requests for microphone and camera access, Halo garnered privacy concerns when it debuted. Amazon says the new optional Alexa skill will not store your Halo health data as part of your Alexa responses history, and reminds us that you can manage and delete your data at any time in the Halo app.

Amazon gives you the option to make a PIN to access responses concerning Halo, which I recommend using if you live in a shared space, too.

I like Amazon Halo. It's not my daily driver, but I do wear it from time to time since it's a rather discreet band. That said, I don't think I'm going to activate this skill, mostly because it's easier for me to just check my app if there's something I want to know. I also felt a little weary about Alexa potentially recommending I order healthier snacks based on my latest body fat scan reading, but Amazon promises Halo data isn't used for marketing on any of its platforms.

If this sounds like one of best Alexa skills for getting hands-free updates on your Halo activity, you can connect your fitness tracker to your voice assistant now. Amazon Halo is currently unavailable from Amazon, so you'll have to look to a third-party retailer if you're interested in picking one up for yourself.

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.