The Internet of Things is growing (IoT). Tracking your physical activity, your meals, and your health doesn’t seem to be enough any more. Now you can track your sleep with a new, WiFi/Bluetooth enabled, connected device.
Sense, the newest sleep tracker on the market is preceded by the FitBit sleep tracker as well as the Jawbone Up. While these wearable fitness trackers have the sleep mode as a feature, Sense is completely dedicated to helping users achieve a good night’s rest.
At only 2.75 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches tall, this little sphere can track everything from the humidity in the air, to the ambient light in your room. Sense comes with a temperature sensor, a humidity sensor, an ambient light sensor, microphone, proximity sensor (to turn it off and on) and even a particulate sensor. If the air itself is causing you to have a bad night sleep, Sense will let you know.
Sense connects to your home WiFi via 802.11b/g/n, and connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy. In order to keep Sense running, all it takes is a small 5V USB power adaptor and a micro USB charger. In order to run Sense, you must have a WiFi connection, a mobile device with support for BLE 4.0 iOS 7 or later, or Android 4.3 or later.
Sense comes with a small ‘Sleep Pill’ that clips on to your pillow, and will hold a charge for up to a year on a single battery.
“With a high precision accelerometer inside a casing barely bigger than a quarter, the Sleep Pill clips to your pillow and recognizes your sleep through your movement during the night.” – Sense.com
At 1.1 inches in diameter and barely half an inch tall, the Sleep Pill is the least intrusive part of the Sense set up. It comes with a precise accelerometer to recognize your movement and connects via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to the Sense system, reporting back the times you are most and least restless in the night. The Sleep Pill comes with a replaceable 3V lithium coin cell battery which has a minimum 12 month battery life.
As you use Sense, it notices trends in your sleep patterns. It gives you raw data and shows how external factors are contributing to your sleep. Not only does it tell you when something is wrong, but is gives you suggestions for fixing the problem. Such as opening a window to let in a cool breeze, or getting thicker curtains to block out the ambient light in the room, or even purchasing a dehumidifier to lower the humidity in your room.
Sense functions as an alarm clock specifically designed to wake you at the perfect time. Through the night we all fade in and out of REM sleep. In the mornings Sense will wake you when you are in your lightest period of sleep, keeping you refreshed and ready for the day.
As the IoT has grown, there have been many practical applications as well as many impractical ones. The wearable technology industry has grown in leaps and bounds, but it still finds ways to fail the consumer base again and again. With devices like Nest doing so well, it seems like the IoT would be exploding with high end successful products. However, these types of devices can fall short very quickly. Not connecting to the internet or bluetooth can throw the whole system off. With the IoT typically monitoring very sensitive data about its users, these devices must be fool proof and unhackable. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
“Not connecting to the internet or bluetooth can throw the whole system off”
Sense seems to be a device with a practical application. Sleep troubled individuals can take advantage of its features to improve sleep, however will Sense be that useful down the line? What does the user gain by knowing it is too loud in their house if they can’t change it? How is the quality of sleep improved if the user lives in a place with high humidity and no means to fix it? Sense can monitor and report what it finds, but after a while there is only so much you can do to fix the problems. As with all modern IoT technology, only time will tell if Sense becomes the next ‘must have’ in home improvements.
BitNavi is a blog conceived by Karl Motey in the heart of Silicon Valley, dedicated to emerging technologies and strategic business issues challenging the industry.
Kaya Lindsay is a local Santa Cruz contributor who spends her time globetrotting, surfing the web, and writing for the BitNavi team.
Follow her on Twitter: @KayaSays