back to article Life with Amazon's fitness band: Upload your half-naked pics to see how fat you'll look without exercise. You now sound stressed – relax!

Amazon has teased a smartphone app and wireless wristband that employ sensors and machine-learning algorithms to depict how fat you'll get unless you do some exercise – and tell you to relax if you sound stressed. All for your own good, of course. Unlike other smartwatches or fitness trackers, this wearable does not have a …

  1. seven of five Silver badge

    Good one

    Ahahaha.. roftl - Oh amazon, now that was that was a good one, now wasn't it?

    ah.

    There *were* joking, were they?

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Good one

      Not joking. This has a clear benefit . . . to Amazon.

      Tag everybody who's worried about their weight and start pushing diet and exercise products to them.

      1. Thicko

        Re: Good one

        and maybe some liposuction vouchers.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Stop

    It's much cheaper and simpler

    to just not do any exercise and wait. That way you'll find out for free...

    Just how intrusive can these assholes get?

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

      "to just not do any exercise and wait. That way you'll find out for free.."

      That's what most people do anyway... But I guess it appeals to today's 'now, now, now' immediate gratification mindset!

      And what about those wanting to slide the slider the other way? Hit the gym now, lads and lasses!

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

      "Hmm, I wonder what i'd look like if i was a huge Tubby McFat Fuck. Better eat some donuts and buy an Amazon fitness band."

    3. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

      "Just how intrusive can these assholes get?"

      NOOOOOOO!!!!! Don't say that.

      You know somebody at Amazon is going to say "Hold my beer."

      1. Flywheel Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

        2021 Q2 .. New! Proctology Plugin!

    4. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

      Tell that to the Fitness Centers, and Sporting Goods retailers. One would at least this k that one would like to at least have a decent pair of Boots to run in... Well I'm sure Footlocker thanks you for your patornage.

    5. a pressbutton

      Re: It's much cheaper and simpler

      Just wait for the announcement of the Amazon colon:

      something that makes the halo product look like it was made by angels,

      , you will not need to wear it on your wrist

      , and (good to know) Maria Callas beta tested it.

  3. Jon Smit
    Coat

    Guaranteed

    They'll be filling the Amazon 'wank bank' with them selfies.

  4. DS999
    Trollface

    No wonder Bezos won't worried about his naked pics getting out there

    He figured on having everyone else's in a few years.

  5. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Putting the HAL into HALO

    Hello Dave. How are you this morning?

    You're sounding stressed.

    I'm sorry Dave, but I can't open the pod bay doors. You're too fat to fit through.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Putting the HAL into HALO

      I AM NOT FUCKING STRESSED!!!! ALL FUCKING RIGHT?!?!?!?!

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Putting the HAL into HALO

        I'm boldly itallicked OK?

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    For those of you concerned about your privacy...

    ... move swiftly on.

    And if that makes your thighs chafe, then you should probably eat less.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: For those of you concerned about your privacy...

      I'm too unfit to manage chafing. Will just sitting and sweating do?

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Dystopia

    Why does Amazon seem to be working hardest to bring it about?

    I mean, it's a product that seems designed to make people unhappy.

    1. Fading Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Dystopia

      Whilst the sample size (no pun intended) is pretty small, what I have found is if someone feels "fat" instead of driving them to lose weight the opposite occurs (desire to eat comfort food and be miserable) . When they feel "thin" (scales have told them they have "lost a pound") this encourages them to do more and eat better and puts a "skip in their step".

      I can only assume this "fatness" band will encourage consumption and comfort shopping - hmm maybe Amazon are smarter than I gave them credit for......

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Beware

        Don't forget that there are people, apparently a majority of whom are women, who take a lost pound as never being enough and force themselves to lose more even though they are more than thin enough and could actually benefit from taking a pound or ten.

        Anorexia is no laughing matter.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Dystopia

      A better question is why is the service free. The most obvious answer is there is money to be made from aggregating this data and selling it (e.g. to insurers), or using it to cross sell other things.

      1. Snowy
        Facepalm

        Re: Dystopia

        Maybe but there is a fee if you want to access all the features.

        [QUOTE]The whole shebang is marketed under the brand Amazon Halo: users will eventually pay a $3.99 monthly subscription service to access top-end features of the $99.99 Amazon Halo Band, accessed via the Amazon Halo app.[/QUOTE]

        1. NATTtrash Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Dystopia

          I'm sure oldtimers here can remember those free hall of "funny mirrors" in theme parks. So no need for subscription cloudy business. Move on, nothing to see here that you couldn't see before...

        2. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Dystopia

          I think the value is in being able to measure a very large number of people by age, ethnicity, location, wealth, weight, propensity, location and other demographics and sell that data. Presumably insurers in the US would love to know where their risks lie and pay handsomely. And Amazon too for that matter given how much crap they sell.

    3. Timbo 1

      Re: Dystopia

      "We've listened to our customers and today, we're please to announce that Amazon can provide you a tailored program of food direct to your doorstop that will provide you the correct healthy nourishment for reaching that target. These will be automatically added with calories counted to your weight improvement scheme and be accessible from the FlabApp. Your happiness is guaranteed.

      We also offer a premium subscription option where Alexa will monitor the sounds from your apartment. Using special AI, an alarm will sound if it detects something naughty like a Kit Kat being opened"

      Or sumfin' like that.

    4. Flywheel Silver badge

      Re: Dystopia

      Well that's to their advantage! One sure-fire but short-lived antidote to feeling unhappy is a bit of retail therapy. Ker-ching!

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    We've come a long way

    I remember the first Usenet spam and the outrage over privacy and how email addresses are sacrosanct. These days a company releases an app that wants to see you in a state of undress one step short of dick pic and apparently people are fine with it.

    1. Ogi
      Linux

      Re: We've come a long way

      Its a different subset of people.

      On Usenet, most of the people were of the nerdy persuasion, as computers were not as prevalent back then, and most "normal people" were living and socialising physically rather than virtually.

      They knew the tech, they knew the risks down the line, and guarded their privacy very strongly.

      Also, machines back then were very "user centric" as well, you did not have to fight your OS to not spy on you, nor "Jail break" it in order to execute code you want, so it was much easier to control what apps ran, and how much data about you was collected.

      Fast forward to 2020, those same people, still know the tech, still know the risks down the line, and still try to guard their privacy very strongly.

      The difference is the rest of society have come online, and they don't understand (or care) about the implications of this much technology under the control of so few. They actively don't want a powerful user machine under their control, they want "appliances" that "just work", and that is where the tech is going.

      Of course in the minds of the masses the phrase "Nothing in life is free" doesn't seem to occur, because then they may realise there is some purpose behind being given these virtual trinkets "for free", that goes beyond what they see.

      Its an ever growing battle to not get absorbed by the collective, and those who do care about individual privacy and control are a minority. Open source saves us a bit, allowing us to modify/tinker and customise systems to serve us, but as we can see with Google/Amazon, its not a cure all.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: We've come a long way

        Superset you mean, but even so I think it reflects the massive erosion of privacy that has happened over the last few decades. I doubt that anybody in the 1990s would have ever countenanced giving away personal info in a way that freely happens today. And probably this rot will continue and continue. The only protection is the state and strong privacy laws.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: We've come a long way

          The only protection is the state and strong privacy laws.

          Do you realise how horrible that sounds to the people who feel entitled to rule us, UK and US?

  9. Cuddles Silver badge

    "as good as anything “a doctor would use.”"

    The thing about weight and fitness is that it's very rare to actually need to know the details particularly accurately. In the vast majority of cases, a doctor won't use anything more than a measuring tape and weighing scales. Assuming they even bother to do any measuring at all - most of the time they'll just say that you're looking a bit tubby (ok, they may be more diplomatic than that) and give some general advice about eating and fitness. It's only if you're obese to the point of needing serious medical intervention, or if you have other medical conditions that make weight and/or body fat more of a concen, that doctors will start breaking out the real measurements. A ballpark BMI is good enough the rest of the time.

    So sure, I have no doubt that this is as good as what a doctor would use. Because most of the time a doctor will be using nothing more than a consumer-grade weighing scale.

  10. Kane Silver badge
    Stop

    No

    No

    Just, No

    Please, stop

  11. TomPhan

    It'll be used in the War Against Stress

    Jen, if this needle goes past here, you're fired. Does that make you feel stressed at all? Does it? Jen? Are you sure? Jen? Does it? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?

  12. whoseyourdaddy

    Things I wish I had done 75 pounds ago...

    i've had my collage of "this is the first day of my diet" turning into a collage of selfies going in the wrong direction on iCloud for more than a decade.

    What's the big deal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Things I wish I had done 75 pounds ago...

      I've asked before what the negative endgame of companies having my data is and it was a downvote magnet, but nobody even attempted an honest reply.

      It sounds like you're fine with your body pictures being online albeit privately. Good for you. Maybe someone will explain what the risks are.

      More than likely you'll get hit with someone else's principles. Oh they'll hoard it and maybe even leak it!!... And? Not saying that's good, but I sincerely feel sorry for anybody trying to make a couple of bucks off MY body.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems ideal

    as a training system to fool lie-detectors.

    Trying to speak calmly while uploading one's personal boudoir photos to for the viewing pleasure of Bezos and friends would be good practice in keeping calm while being grilled about one's whereabouts on Thursday the 21st.

    I'll have the premium subscription with bright lights and rubber hoses, please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems ideal

      An attempt at humour, one supposes?

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Seems ideal

      " bright lights and rubber hoses"

      Psah, is that what goes for premium nowadays? I would expect the car battery and jumper cables added in AT LEAST.

  14. PhilipN Silver badge

    No need for an algorithm to predict the future of the human race

    We no longer need to learn anything.

    We no longer need to remember anything.

    We no longer need to use common sense,

    The human brain, and body, will atrophy,

    On the other hand we may evolve a proboscis - a long nose for example, to tap the screen when our other hand (the one not permanently angled) drizzles away to nothing. Why didn't Steve Jobs think of that? After all our eyes will lose the ability to see more than 18 inches away.

    Progress!

    P.S. My Dad, an engineer, once in the long ago railed against the loss of skills in using a slide rule when calculators became ubiquitous.

    Oh - slide rule : it was a..... never mind. Google it.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: No need for an algorithm to predict the future of the human race

      Oddly enough I found my slide rule only yesterday! Still couldn't throw it away, so I put it next to my Texas Instruments 74 series TTL data books ...

  15. AdmFubar

    Go straight to health

    Sound more like this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eH76Haezq4

  16. Paper

    Not necessary

    I don't need an app to show me what I'd look like if I was a fat grumpy old f!ck.

    I'm already there :D

  17. MachDiamond Silver badge

    They just need you to download the app

    Governments can find ways to access your location data and other stuff on your phone, but the private sector needs a way in that you install yourself (after clicking that "I Agree" box without reading what you are agreeing to. Deleting the display makes the sensor band that much cheaper to make and gives it much better battery life so if you forget to put it on the charger one night, it's not going to be dead and unused the next day. You've made your resolution to improve your fitness and some tech is going to help out. Right? Perfect wedge to get you to pay somebody you trust (ack) and install their app. Presto, they're in.

  18. IGotOut Silver badge

    Yup I trust them

    “never get sent to the cloud, and can’t even be played back or downloaded, so no one ever hears them,"

    Until an update "accidently" changes this.

    Just remember, this the same Amazon tgat recently got caught recording sounds without a keyword...or was that Google.. Or Apple...or all of them?

  19. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Will this new Wunderdevice also automatically order some Obetrol, and Prozac for me when it detects that I'm a depressive fat bastard?

  20. Nifty Bronze badge

    People who bought this item...

    Also bought: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram...

  21. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    mayhaps i can test their AI

    i figure a manbra and large cucumber should do the trick.

  22. Barking mad

    I'm no longer concerned about how much Google knows about me. Compared to Amazon, they're a bunch of plonkers.

  23. Spanners Silver badge
    Happy

    Will that eventually tempt me away from FitBit?

    The first thing to note that it is not available. Not available for the 95% of humanity outside the USA anyway. This follows the Microsoft/Apple/Google habit of not being fully aware of the rest of the planet.

    When they do notice that they can massively expand their market by selling outside one country that is far away from most of us they will have to follow the law. The USA may not bee too concerned about user privacy and rights (although some states are). To do business here, they will need to follow the GDPR and other laws. Those fines are just going to get bigger.

    I have had a FitBit for perhaps 4 years. They will keep improving their range. Competition is what capitalism should be about. When I start considering a replacement in a year or so, what will I see?

  24. xyz

    I can't get fat...

    I feel discriminated against! And worthless, 'cos Amazon doesn't want me!

  25. Ashto5

    What Could Possibly Go Worng

    Amazon, everyone’s friend

    Surprised the Goliath data slurped FB are not already all over this, zuckerAd can help use it to prop up his non publishing, non news ad aware platform.

    It’s a brave new world out there ... God help us

  26. imanidiot Silver badge

    Yeah right...

    "For those of you concerned about your privacy, Amazon said the body scans are generated in the cloud – which means sending snaps of you half naked to its computers for processing. "Your body scan images are automatically deleted from the cloud after processing,"

    And then a few months or years down the line it turns out there was some sort of debugging/developer feature or a bug is found and it turns out that it DID retain lots and lots of pictures. Oops...

    "are generated in the cloud" -> Read: Are sent to somebody (could be anybody really) else's computer. Doesn't sound so friendly and non-threatening all of a sudden.

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