Amazon Shutting Down Halo Division and Laying off Staff
Amazon.com Inc has announced it will be shutting down its Halo division, which sells health and sleep trackers. The move comes as the tech giant initiates broader layoffs at the company. Amazon said it will stop supporting Halo services starting July 31 and will fully refund Halo device purchases made in the previous 12 months. According to the company, it will be notifying affected employees in the US and Canada. The heads of Amazon Web Services and the People Technology and Experience team emailed affected staff about the cuts.
The Rise and Fall of Amazon’s Halo Division
The company had introduced the original Halo band in 2020, which came as a fitness tracker along with a subscription to certain Amazon health monitoring and analytics services. Later it released a new version called Halo View and Halo rise, a contactless sleep tracker and a smart alarm clock.
Like Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google peers, Amazon has invested in consumer health tracking technology. However, the company has come under regulatory scrutiny for the sensitive information it purportedly collects, such as body fat percentage through physical activity bracelets.
Amazon’s Second Layoff Campaign
Amazon, which announced in March that it would lay off 9,000 workers as part of its second layoff campaign, began informing some of the affected employees on Wednesday. While the company hasn’t disclosed how many employees will be affected by the Halo division shutdown and broader layoffs, the move is another indication that Amazon is shifting its focus away from consumer wearables and towards other areas of the business.
According to some reports, Amazon is considering expanding its healthcare business, using its position as the world’s largest online retailer to create a more comprehensive healthcare platform. This could include everything from virtual medical consultations to prescription medication delivery.
As per information from the source, Amazon’s decision to shut down its Halo division and lay off staff is a reminder that even tech giants like Amazon are not immune to market forces. While it’s unclear what Amazon’s healthcare ambitions will ultimately look like, it’s clear that the company is exploring opportunities beyond consumer wearables. With its vast resources and technical expertise, Amazon could play a significant role in shaping the future of healthcare.