On August 27, Patently Apple posted a report titled “Amazon Enters the Smart Health & Fitness Market to take on Apple Watch with the Halo Device and Annual Membership.” Our report noted that “The new Amazon Halo is a new service dedicated to helping customers improve their individual health and wellness. Amazon Halo combines a suite of AI-powered health features that provide actionable insights into overall wellness via the new Amazon Halo app with the Amazon Halo Band, which uses multiple advanced sensors to provide the highly accurate information necessary to power Halo insights. It’s available for both iOS and Android.” Amazon beat Apple to market with a pay-for “membership” service. Today Patently Apple discovered Amazon’s patent for the Halo device.
Amazon’s Halo Device Patent
A wearable device may be used to provide a variety of functions to a user. These functions may include providing information, acquiring data using sensors, and so forth. The wearable device may operate alone or may utilize a communication link to operate in conjunction with another device such as a smartphone.
The wearable device may include output devices such as a haptic buzzer that provides haptic feedback to the user, a speaker to provide audio output, a light emitting diode (LED) to provide a visual indicator, and so forth.
The sensors on the wearable device may acquire data that helps the user perform various functions. For example, the wearable device may include a microphone, allowing the user to provide speech input to an application running on the smartphone.
Other sensors such as accelerometers, heart rate monitors, and so forth may be used to acquire data about the user’s activity level, physical condition, and so forth. This data may then help the user. For example, information about how much the user is moving may be compared to a goal and used to provide an output that informs the user and helps them increase their activity level.
The wearable device may include two parts: a housing and a band. The housing contains at least some of the electronics of the wearable device, such as the output devices and the sensors. The housing may be sealed to prevent water, dirt, or other foreign materials from entering the housing.
The band retains the housing proximate to the user. In some implementations a bottom surface of the housing may be in contact with the user’s skin. Various sizes and types of band may be used, allowing for the housing to be worn on an arm, leg, abdomen, neck, and so forth. For example, the wearable device may be worn as a wristband, with the band holding the housing near the user’s wrist. In another example, the wearable device may be worn as an anklet, with the band holding the housing near the user’s ankle.
It is advantageous to be able to affix different bands to a given housing. Different bands may be chosen for one or more of aesthetic or functional reasons depending on the situation. For example, a band what is waterproof may be selected when the user expects to be in a wet environment. In another example, a band that is decorative may be selected when the user is going to be socializing. In another example, a band made from a specific material may be selected by a user to avoid contact dermatitis. In still another example, a band may become worn and require replacement.
The combination of the band and the housing should also be comfortable for extended wear. For example, the user should be able to wear the wearable device without experiencing pinching, gouging, undue pressure, and so forth.
Amazon’s patent FIG. 1 below is an illustrative wearable device comprising a housing and a field replaceable band; FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the housing of the wearable device prior to installation of an upper cover.
Amazon’s patent FIG. 7 below is a cross sectional view of the housing, according to one implementation; FIG. 9 illustrates a block diagram of sensors and output devices that the wearable device may utilize. Some of the sensors include Fingerprint, glucose, a proximity and image.
A location sensor 902(14) is configured to provide information indicative of a location. The location may be relative or absolute. For example, a relative location may indicate “kitchen”, “bedroom”, “conference room”, and so forth
A fingerprint sensor 902(15) is configured to acquire fingerprint data. The fingerprint sensor 902(15) may use an optical, ultrasonic, capacitive, resistive, or other detector to obtain an image or other representation of features of a finger. For example, the fingerprint sensor 902(15) may comprise a capacitive sensor configured to generate an image of the fingerprint of the user.
For more details, review Amazon’s patent application number 20200289001 here. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published the patent last Thursday and originally file for it in Q1 2019.