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Amazon Wants to Cocoon You With 'Ambient Intelligence'


Amazon's Halo Rise uses radar to monitor breathing patterns.

Credit: Halo

It's an ominous-looking disc that sits on a night table, resembling a tiny satellite dish. It uses radar to monitor your movements while you sleep, combining that data with information about your bedroom—temperature, humidity, and brightness—to measure the quality of your sleep. Around the time you've set the alarm—at the instant you enter a lighter stage of sleep—it brightens its semicircle of soft LED light to ease you gently from your slumbers. And this most intimate companion is made by Amazon, one of the world's biggest—and to some scariest—companies.

Meet Halo Rise, the latest contribution to Amazon's mission of creating a persistent yet almost undetectable computational cocoon that monitors, listens, and fulfills your every whim and need. It's one of a bevy of products announced at the company's annual hardware event today. The event is further confirmation that the ecommerce giant is now a giant hardware provider, only 15 years after its Kindle launch was mocked as an example of a software company veering out of its lane.

While the variety of devices launched or updated are as disparate as a home-roaming robot and a television set, Amazon's hardware chief, Dave Limp, is emphatic that they all serve the company's grand mission—constructing a silent infrastructure of ambient intelligence to do just about anything for us.

From Wired
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