Amazon axes its controversial Halo health division, stops selling trackers

Amazon Halo View heart rate
(Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Amazon Halo app will shut down on August 1, 2023.
  • The Amazon Halo View, Band, and Rise are no longer available for sale.
  • Amazon is in the midst of major layoffs and will hold its latest earnings call tomorrow.
  • Halo trackers purchased in the last year will be refunded, and prepaid Halo subscriptions will be refunded as well.

Amazon's nascent Halo division of fitness bands, sleep tracking, and health monitoring will soon cease operations, the latest Amazon initiative to face serious cuts due to the company's economic losses.

In an email obtained by The Verge, Melissa Cha, Amazon’s VP of smart home and health, told Halo employees that "we have made the difficult decision to wind down the Halo program, which will result in role reductions."

Amazon's three main health products — the original Amazon Halo, Halo View smart tracker, and Halo Rise sleep tracker — are no longer available on the retail site.

"We recently made the difficult decision to stop supporting Amazon Halo effective July 31, 2023," Amazon spokesperson Kristy Schmidt told The Verge. 

"Halo has faced significant headwinds, including an increasingly crowded segment and an uncertain economic environment. Although our customers love many aspects of Halo, we must prioritize resources and maximize benefits to customers and the long-term health of the business," Cha explained. 

A subsequent Amazon Halo blog post explains that the Amazon Halo app will shut down on August 1, at which point any health data will be deleted. You must download any health data you want to save from the Settings page before then. 

Any Amazon Halo bands purchased in the last twelve months will be refunded, says Amazon, and it will no longer charge any Halo subscription moving forward from today's announcement. 

Amazon Halo Rise on nightstand

The latest Amazon Halo Rise sleep tracker, launched at the end of 2022. (Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Amazon is in the midst of a brutal wave of layoffs. In late 2022, it began laying off 10,000 employees, primarily in the Devices & Services division focused on Echo products and Alexa. It quickly followed up with an additional 18,000 layoffs across Amazon's Stores and People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) divisions.

In this austerity climate, it's unsurprising that the Halo division would lose support from Amazon leadership. It had a rough start because its first tracker, the Amazon Halo, actively listened to and recorded users in order to judge their emotions. 

This Tone feature struck many people as creepy, and Amazon had to remove mics from future products to assuage privacy concerns.

Since then, the Halo brand hasn't made much of a cultural impact, though we did consider the budget-friendly Halo View one of the best fitness trackers up until now. That being said, the Halo View's Body Composition feature that took a 3D scan of your body to determine fat percentage — and showed what your body "should" look like with less fat — felt invasive and demoralizing to our reviewer, rather than helpful.

With their unique features failing to resonate positively with users, the Amazon Halo devices apparently never found enough of a footing in the wearable market to satisfy executives.

Update 4/26 5p ET: Updated to include the information that Amazon will refund Halo tracker purchases and subscriptions, and the exact date that the app will shut down.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.