Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (2023)

I'm stuck in a vicious circle. My cat is an asshole who likes to wake me up at 3am. In search of a better night's sleep (and a new life as an early riser) I grab all sorts of gadgets andtechnology they are. It works for a while until my cat adopts a new strategy.

I drowned out her nightly howls with itBose Sleepbuds II, until it started slapping my face with its paws. I bought him a cat fountain so he doesn't throw his cup on my bedside table; He was content until he decided it was more fun to drink condensation in the bathtub and then scream. Inevitably, I wake up late and exhausted. Rinse and repeat.

I was hoping to break the cycle with the Amazon Halo Rise, a $139.99 smart alarm clock, sunrise lamp, and contactless sleep tracker all in one. And I think it would have worked if it wasn't for my warlike, puritanical Pablo.

A sleepy all-rounder

I decided to try Halo Rise because I'm having trouble going from a night owl to an early riser. Bouts of insomnia aside, my talents include sleeping with three iPhone alarms, multiple vibrating smartwatch alarms, and my wife's late-night forays into the kitchen. (You don't seem to know that bags of potato chips crumple 1000 times more at night.) I read somewhere that twilight lamps can bean effective and gentle way to wake upand I was literally researching which one to buy when my editor mentioned Halo Rise.

On paper, Halo Rise is an efficient option. It helps you wake up gently by mimicking natural morning light during the lightest phase of sleep and has sensors to monitor ambient temperature, light disturbances and humidity. You can pair it with an Echo device and effectively turn it into another voice controlled smart light. It's small enough to fit on a crowded bedside table and its minimalist design is versatile enough to complement a variety of bedroom decors.

I was more concerned about Halo Rise's contactless sleep tracking. Wearable or mattress-based sleep trackers typically use a combination of motion sensors and heart rate data to determine what stage of sleep you're in. There is no accelerometer or optical heart rate sensor in Halo Rise. Instead like thatnesting center, tracks sleep through alow energy radarwhich analyzes your movement and breathing. Unlike the Nest Hub (and some smartphone sleep-tracking apps), there's no microphone, so it doesn't record your snoring or voices. There is no camera either. This is great for privacy, but it also removes another data source. Ultimately, this means that Halo Rise's radars and algorithms need to be on point for sleep tracking to be accurate, and in my experience radars can be hit or miss in sleep devices.

It's convenient to cram all of these features into a single device, but as the saying goes, the jack-of-all-trades isn't a master of anything. Bedside real estate is precious; there is no place for anything that does not preach all that it should. That's where my head went for the test. Now that I've been using it for a little over a month, I can say my instincts were for the money, but not for Rise.

Operation: Sleep, don't meow

Setting up Rise is easy, but positioning is tricky. Since it's a contactless tracker, you need to point it in the right direction. The app walks you through it, but the gist is that you need to do the following:

  • Place it on a bedside table so that the Rise's metal stand is level with or up to 20cm above the mattress.
  • Aim for your torso.
  • Make sure there is about an arm's length between you and Rise.
  • Remove all items between you and Rise (linens are fine).

The hard part is making sure it stays that way. For me, that meant checking before bed that my books, water bottle, and phone weren't interfering with any part of the Rise. You can set nightly reminders in the Halo app to make sure everything is positioned correctly, but that's just another notification to ignore on your phone. But anywaysheHe did everything right, there was one factor he couldn't control: Pablo.

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (1)

I first suspected something was wrong when I started comparing my historical sleep results from Halo Rise to what I was getting in theanel de oura,Applewatch ultra,Garmin Fenix ​​​​​​7S Solar Saphir Edition,Polar Ignite 3, and several other sleep tracking and wearable apps I've tested. I also keep a sleep and fitness journal so I could cross reference when I had a terrible night's sleep. Surprisingly, Halo Rise was very accurate on some nights when I was woken up by a persistent cough or insomnia. On those nights, my data and the sleep phase charts on all my test devices matched. In several days where I arrivedFor realGood dream, Halo Rise could see that too. Again, my data was compared across multiple platforms.

But there were also several nights when the data did not match. My handheld devices would say I slept well with little interference. Only Halo Rise would say I was up for hours when I wasn't. For example, Oura Ring would say I had about an hour of waking time. Halo Rise would say I didn't sleep for three to four hours. Sometimes these waking periods coincided with the sleep stage diagrams. Other times they absolutely don't.


I asked dr. Michael Miyamoto, chief medical officer at Amazon Halo, on why this might be happening. Can my spouse's midnight snack confuse Rise? According to Miyamoto, while it can't be ruled out, it's highly unlikely since Rise is programmed to focus on the nearest body. Miyamoto also told me that people often wake up multiple times during the night, but only for a few seconds. Rise only registers it as a glitch if it's an instance that lasts longer than five minutes. It's when I add two plus two. I asked if it was possible for a cat to spoil my results.

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (2)

Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (3)

Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

Here's what you need to know about Night Pablo. Night Pablo loves chaos, nightstands and mess on my nightstand. A few times a week I wake up when my glasses, books, phone, Nintendo Switch or water bottle fall on the floor. Why? It took us a long time to find out. It's not that I'm hungry or thirsty; It has an automatic feederjan elegant font for cats. It turns out this twilight demon wants someonewitnessHe eats croquettes. It is beneath his dignity to dine alone.

Pablo doesn't always throw things off my bedside table. He parks his cute ass there for a number of reasons. He loves to play with my charging cables. He loves to smell my stuff. He likes having a launch pad to pounce on my wife's chest. Sometimes it gets pretty close to my head and requires scratching. (And if it doesn't, it bites me.) It's not every night, and I don't remember every instance because I usually sleep like the dead. Still, I've sleepily watched it several times over the course of five years to find out what's going on.

In short, since Halo Rise focuses on the closest body, it probably confused Pablo's anticsmirWhen I'm awake, I now have an involuntary record of all the nights Pablo was put into chaos mode. That in itself was surprising. I met Pablosometimesit made it difficult to sleep properly, I just didn't know how much it increased over time. I caught it in the act in the meantime and confirmed it with the data the next morning.

Of course, if you want to use it as a sleep tracker, Halo Rise is best for people who doNothaving feral kittens (or bed partners).

Good alarm clock, best smart light

Sleep tracking is just one of the things Halo Rise can do. Pet-induced inaccuracies aside, it's not a bad sleep tracking option if you're uncomfortable wearing watches or rings while you sleep. But I was more excited to try the smart alarm clock and sunrise lamp combo.

As mentioned above, I'm trying to become a morning person. So far I've had mixed results. I set Halo Rise's smart alarm clock for 6:45 am. After a month, my success rate is around 45%. For one, Halo Rise's default alarm sound is adorably cheerful. It reminds me of my rice cooker: a little robot that sings in a MIDI-like voice to let you know it's time to do it. Even my wife said it was the "least annoying alarm sound" and "kinda cute". I would attribute 45 percent of the time I get up to the audible alarm. If you don't like cute beeps and beeps then you're wrong, but you can also connect it to an Echo device to play music.

All Halo Rise alert options:

TKTKTKTKTTK(opens a new window)

On the other hand, the simulated sunrise didn't help me much. I sleep on my side, so I don't get any benefit from being taken away from Rise. my back yes I also found it a little dark, but that's my problem. Most sunrise lamps are between 100 and 300 lux, and the Halo Rise is right in that range with a maximum of 300 lux. I just didn't find it bright enough because apparently I need a reflector to light me up to wake up. If you're more sensitive to light (or sleep on your back) you might be more successful than me.

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (4)

The irony is that the Halo Rise is a good lamp to have when you're awake, especially if you're trying to eliminate blue light from your surroundings before bed. It was bright enough that I could read my books and Kindle Paperwhite in bed without feeling stiff or overwhelmed. While you can adjust the brightness, you can't change the color temperature; They're just automatic warm lighting variations.

But here, too, Paul's interference occasionally came into play. Since he liked to get between me and Rise between 3am and 6am, he would sometimes set off the smart alarm clock. This is because the Smart Alarm will activate within a 30 minute window of the alarm if it detects you are in a lighter sleep stage. Unless, of course, he mistakes you for a moving cat. The alarm clock rang between 6:15 and 6:30 am. m. a few times and hit the snooze/off button like he was trying to win a roundhungry hippos. When I found out Pablo was to blame, I turned off the smart part and opted for a "normal" alarm.

There were some things that Pauli couldn'tDownfall for me Its existence didn't affect tracking temperature, humidity, or light disturbances in my room. I already have a decent sleeping environment - the temperature is always a comfortable 20-22 degrees Celsius, and we've recently been given blackout curtains. However, it's a dry winter and I often wake up with breathless lungs. The Rise has confirmed our room isvery drymost nights so we have a humidifier. When I think about using it, it really helps.

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (5)

Amazon also sent me an Echo Show to try the Rise. For example, you can ask Alexa to display your sleep data on the show. It worked when I tried it, but I didn't find it useful. I preferred using the Rise as a smart light with my other Echo devices. The fact that you can use it in Alexa Routines and control it with voice commands is great, especially if you're already invested in Amazon's smart home ecosystem. (Only compatible with Alexa).

Let's talk about subscriptions

For $140, you get Rise and a six-month trial of Amazon's Halo service. After that, Halo is $3.99 per month. That's relatively affordable for subscriptions, but I'm not convinced here. For starters, the Halo app is pretty basic, and not the easiest to view historical data if you're a self-quantifying geek. It's only worth paying if you use Rise in conjunction withBand HaloÖgloriole— and I don't recommend any for their strangeness.Body mapping and tone control functions. (Note: If you're using one of the trackers, Miyamoto says the app will prioritize Rise for sleep data.) If you're not interested in Halo Band or Halo View,I still get almost all sleep functionsand some unassigned workouts, recipes, and programs.

Amazon Halo Rise would be an excellent sleep tracker if it weren't for my cat (6)

Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

Otherwise, $140 is more expensive, but not outrageous given the added intelligence and sleep tracking. For context, Sunrise bulbs can range from $50 to $200 apieceone of the most elegant lamps from Philips. Putting it all together, I'm not sure why I'd pay for the subscription if you're planning on using Rise on your own.

Ultimately, Rise is the best Amazon Halo product yet and the first new Amazon product I've liked in a long time. It's the least obtrusive of the Halo line, and while it wasn't perfect for me, it's not the device's fault. it is from paul

And before you say anything, let's try to close the bedroom door. This only causes the cat to destroy any breakable item it finds in retaliation. Since I love the furry critter and have no intention of dropping him, I don't think Rise would meet my needs. But yesyourIf you don't have a shameless pet, maybe you can have what I can only dream of: an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Accept Next: Amazon Halo Rise

All smart devices now require you to agree to a set of terms and conditions before you can use them, contracts that nobody really reads. It is impossible for us to read and analyze each of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to click "accept" to use the devices when we checked them out, since these are deals that most people don't read and definitely can't negotiate.

To use Amazon Halo Rise, you must pair it with an iPhone or Android smartphone. This includes the phone's terms of service, privacy policy, and any other permissions you grant.

By setting up Amazon Halo Rise, you agree to the following:

If you want to use Halo Rise with an Echo device, you must also agree to the terms and privacy policy of that device. The same applies if you decide to use it withAmazon Alexa.

Final count: two mandatory agreements and at least four optional agreements.

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