Amazon Halo Review: The Fitness Gadget We Don’t Deserve or Need
I made a decision to file constant physique fats measurements for myself and a good friend utilizing the Halo, a Fitbit rest room scale and a extremely rated pores and skin caliper. In November and December, I took early-morning measurements with the Halo and toilet scale; my spouse pinched my pores and skin folds in 4 areas with the caliper. I measured my take a look at topic’s physique fats as soon as with every machine.
Our outcomes had been remarkably related for 2 males with very completely different physique compositions:
The Amazon product estimated that my good friend, a 6-foot-3 man weighing 198 kilos, had 24 p.c physique fats, the Fitbit scale learn 19 p.c, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 20 p.c.
For myself — 5-foot-6 and about 140 kilos — the Halo stated in November that I had 25 p.c physique fats, the Fitbit scale stated 19 p.c, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 20 p.c. In December, the Halo stated I had 26 p.c physique fats (alas, I had extra Thanksgiving leftovers than normal), the Fitbit scale stated 20 p.c, and the skin-fold measurements added as much as 21 p.c.
Dr. Cheskin speculated that the Halo may need an overestimating bias in its algorithm as a result of underestimating physique fats for an overweight individual can be extra problematic.
Dr. Maulik Majmudar, Amazon’s medical officer, who labored on the Halo, stated folks ought to count on the machine’s outcomes to be completely different as a result of the strategy was extra correct than physique fats scales and calipers.
Amazon developed its body-measuring algorithm from a pattern set of tens of hundreds of photographs of individuals’s our bodies from throughout a variety of demographics, he stated. Amazon then did inside checks measuring folks’s physique fats utilizing the Halo scanner, good rest room scales and DEXA, a method that makes use of X-rays to scan for bone density, which research have discovered to be a dependable measure for physique fats. It discovered that the Halo technique was twice as correct as rest room scales.
Still, Dr. Cheskin was unconvinced by Amazon’s accuracy claims. He stated a legitimate examine would contain a scientific trial measuring physique fats of many human topics with every technique — the Halo, DEXA, bioelectrical impedance scales and calipers — and evaluating the outcomes aspect by aspect.
Accurate or not, essentially the most disappointing a part of Amazon’s physique fats evaluation was that it lacked vital context. Even although the app requested for my ethnicity, age and intercourse, it stated my 25 p.c physique fats stage was too excessive and effectively exterior the “Healthy” zone (roughly 12 to 18 p.c). It additionally stated wholesome outcomes had been related to longer life and decrease dangers of coronary heart illness.
Dr. Cheskin provided a extra nuanced evaluation. Body fats ranges might have completely different well being implications relying in your age, ethnicity, intercourse, levels of cholesterol and household historical past. Waist circumference issues, too, as a result of extreme belly fats might be related to well being issues.