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Amazon closing Halo health division, lays off staff while offering hardware refunds
April 27, 2023

Amazon closing Halo health division, lays off staff while offering hardware refunds

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amazon sent out a note to Halo customers today announcing that it is shutting down its Halo Health division, effective July 31. Included in the announcement is news of layoffs, as well as full refunds on hardware purchased over the past 12 months.

That includes Amazon Halo View, Halo Band, Halo Rise and a bunch of accessories. That’s not an unprecedented move (Google did something similar when it recently shut down Stadia), but it’s a sign of good will for customers and a tacit acknowledgement that the hardware won’t be worth a hell of a lot when its associated services shut down. The company will also be ending subscription fees and refunding those that were pre-paid.

‘At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas like Amazon Halo in our efforts to delight customers,’ the company notes in a letter addressed to ‘Halo Member.’ As of the beginning of August, all of the aforementioned products will cease to function. Amazon has also tossed in information for recycling the hardware and saving scan images to a phone’s camera roll.

Those impacted by layoffs, on the other hand, don’t appear to have received much warning:

At the end of last month, the company announced 9,000 layoffs, adding to 18,000 it made beginning in January. Amazon’s hardware divisions were disproportionately impacted by the first round, with strong focuses on the Alexa/Echo team.

The original Halo tracker was greeted with privacy pushback when it was announced in August 2020. A few months later, we spoke to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar about the concerns.

The line still grew quickly, adding the Halo View, an $80 Fitbit competitor, in late 2021, alongside additional fitness and nutrition programs. Last September, it announced the Halo Rise, a bedside sleep tracker, which went on sale at the end of the year.


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