Amazon is shutting down Halo and all associated devices

27 Apr 2023

Image: © Eric BVD/

Amazon is offering full refunds for recently bought Halo devices, while impacted staff have been informed of the decision to shut down.

Amazon’s health-focused Halo division is shutting down later this year, which will end the functionality of all the brand’s devices.

The company will be laying off employees as a result. Amazon said it has notified impacted employees in Canada and the US, along with following “local processes” to inform affected staff in other countries.

It is unclear how many staff will be impacted by these job cuts. In March, Amazon revealed plans to let go of 9,000 employees on top of the 18,000 it laid off in January.

The Halo division will no longer be supported from 31 July this year, which means the wellness app and Halo devices will stop working on 1 August.

Amazon said it will fully refund purchases of Amazon Halo products made in the last 12 months.

“In addition, any unused prepaid Halo subscriptions fees will be refunded to your original payment method,” the company said. “If you have a paid subscription, as of today you will no longer be charged the monthly subscription fee.”

“We are incredibly proud of the invention and hard work that went into building Halo on behalf of our customers, and our priorities are taking care of our customers and supporting our employees.”

Too little too late

Amazon launched its foray into the fitness sector in 2020, with the release of the Halo Band and the associated wellness app. By this stage, other companies had a significant head start, with the first Fitbit released in 2009 and the first Apple Watch released in 2015.

The product had issues right out of the gate, as it relied solely on Bluetooth connectivity, unlike its competitors which had options such as GPS and Wi-Fi.

The product also lacked some of the more advanced features of its competitors, while some of Halo Band’s unique features were controversial.

For example, the device had a body-scanning feature that allowed users to see what they would look like with more or less body fat, which raised concerns for users with self-image issues.

The division only released a few products over the years, such as the Halo Rise sleep tracker last year. This device uses contactless sensors and machine learning to track respiration and movement patterns, to know which sleep stage a person is in throughout the night.

Cutting costs

The latest division closure follows Amazon’s decisions to shut down acquired businesses in a bid to cut costs and become “more streamlined”.

Yesterday (26 April), the company shut down Book Depository, the popular online bookshop that was acquired by Amazon in 2011.

In March, digital photography review site DPReview confirmed it was shutting down after nearly 25 years as a result of Amazon’s cost-cutting measures. The tech giant acquired DPReview in 2007.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic