Amazon has been selling fitness, health, and activity gadgets under the Halo brand for the last few years. But now the company is pulling the plug on the division responsible for those products and services.
Halo fitness trackers and bedside sleep trackers are no longer available for purchase. And if you already own one it’ll stop working on August 1, 2023. So what are you supposed to do with your paperweights at that point? It depends.
Amazon says that customers who purchased a Halo product in the past 12 months will get a full refund in the next few weeks. This applies to the Amazon Halo Band, Halo View, and Halo Rise as well as accessory wristbands.
The company will also issue refunds for any unused prepaid subscription fees.
If you bought a Halo device more than a year ago, then I guess you’d best hope you already got your money’s worth out of it, because you aren’t getting a refund and it will stop working in a few months.
Before then Amazon says users can download their Halo health data from the Settings page in the Halo app. But you’ll want to do that before the end of July, because the Halo app will also stop working on August 1st and all user data will be deleted.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some hardware hackers tried to repurpose the hardware for use in other ways. But Amazon is suggesting that anyone who wants to recycle their soon-to-be-useless hardware take advantage of its recycling program. Amazon will cover the costs of shipping and recycling.
But overall this is the latest in a long line of reminders that when you buy a cheap gadget that relies on cloud services there’s no guarantee that it’ll continue to function indefinitely.
via The Verge and Ars Technica
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some hardware hackers tried to repurpose the hardware for use in other ways.”
If Amazon were a sensible company they would release the relevant documentation and tools in order to avoid turning all these smartwatches into e-waste in a few months. If only.
This is the first thing that came up in my mind too, instead of just turning this into more e-waste (despite the recycling program), at least release the info so that a few tinkerers out there can make something out of these obsolete bands.
Basically pet collar for human
One could argue that all smartphones and watches are this. But the analogy is FAR more pronounced with these headphones that, once trained on your thoughts, can detect if you’re thinking something desirable or undesirable for your employer.
Which shouldn’t be legal.
…I vaguely remember hating these things. What was that over?
Oh yeah, it was the tone of voice monitoring. Which was horrifying in 2020, is bad now, and will be even worse when the horrors of that year repeat themselves.