Amazon unveils bedside device that tracks sleeping patterns

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. track / træk / (v.) – to record and observe the progress of someone or something

    I like to use this watch during my morning walks because it can track the number of steps I take.

  2. simulate / ˈsɪm yəˌleɪt / (v.) – to copy the appearance, effect, sound, etc. of something as realistically as possible

    The pool creates waves to simulate the sea.

  3. gradual / ˈgrædʒ u əl / (adj.) – slow but continuous change over a long period

    There’s been a gradual increase in the sea level due to global warming.

  4. encrypt / ɛnˈkrɪpt / (v.) – to convert information or data into a code to prevent unauthorized access

    The company’s financial report is encrypted. It can only be accessed by the management.

  5. in transit / ɪn ˈtræn sɪt / (idiom) – moving from one place to another

    The package is already in transit and is expected to arrive today.


Read the text below.

Soon enough, a bedside Amazon device might know whether you’re sleeping — or not.

The e-commerce and tech giant said it will start selling a device later this year that can track sleeping patterns without a wristband.

The device, called Halo Rise, will use no-contact sensors and artificial intelligence to measure a user’s movement and breathing patterns, allowing the device to track sleep stages during the night, the Seattle-based company said. Amazon said the device “does not include cameras or microphones,” and will go for $139.99.

The Halo Rise would be the latest device in Amazon’s Halo line, which includes a fitness tracker that can track physical activity and sleeping patterns. Amazon noted the device can connect with its virtual assistant, Alexa, and allow users to wake up to their favorite songs and a light that “simulates the colors and gradual brightening of a sunrise.”

The new device highlights the company’s ever-growing move to integrate its technology in consumers’ lives, and broaden its reach into wellness. Its healthcare ambitions have grown over the years, seen most recently in its planned $3.9 billion acquisition of the primary care organization One Medical. The deal is currently under review by the Federal Trade Commission.

Amazon, which has faced scrutiny over its handling of consumer data, quickly offered assurances that the information in the Halo Rise device will be kept safe — saying the “health data is encrypted in transit and at rest in the cloud.”

“Amazon Halo health data is not used for marketing, product recommendations, or advertising, and never sold,” the company said.

Separately, Amazon said it will release a new Kindle Scribe, the first Kindle consumers can write on. It will also add more features to its Ring doorbell cameras, home robot Astro, and release new Echo devices.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Would you be interested in having an Amazon Halo Rise? Who do you think this product can help the most (ex. students, working moms)? Discuss.
  • Why do you think consumers still buy products or use services from Amazon despite the issues it’s facing over consumer data? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Aside from Halo Rise, Amazon will also release a new Kindle Scribe, the first Kindle that consumers can write on. Do you think this will encourage more book readers to switch to e-books? Discuss.
  • What are some new features of the latest gadgets that you think are revolutionary (ex. wireless chargers, AI cameras)? Discuss.