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Sense sleep tracker monitors your bedroom for signs of unrest


July 29, 2014

The Sleep Score offers a rating out of 100 based on the quality of the night's rest, determined by the information gathered by the sensors

The Sleep Score offers a rating out of 100 based on the quality of the night's rest, determined by the information gathered by the sensors

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It is often said that the best design solutions are invisible, but let's be honest, most things are invisible to a sleeping set of eyes. Adapt this philosophy to the development of a sleep tracker and you'll hopefully have a device that can quietly work away in the background, keeping tabs on your down time and leaving you free of uncomfortable objects beneath the sheets. Sense is a monitoring system that transmits data to an elegant sphere on your bedside table, which also takes into account the bedroom's environment before providing feedback on your sleeping behavior.

Using Sense to track your sleep won't leave you entirely unaccompanied come bedtime. A button-like device called the Sleep Pill is attached to your pillow and uses a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope to monitor movement during the night. This data is then transmitted to the Sense sphere over Bluetooth Low Energy and ANT+.

Built into the sphere are sensors to monitor ambient light, temperature, humidity, particles in the air, and a microphone. These combine to gather information such as humidity, the presence of pollen in the air and noises such as car alarms or garbage trucks. Connecting over Wi-Fi, a companion app (both iOS and Android compatible) is then ready and waiting with a Sleep Score for when you wake up.

The Sleep Score offers a rating out of 100 based on the quality of the night's rest, as determined by the information gathered by the sensors. Diving further into the app reveals information on what exactly is causing disturbances. The neighbor's barking dog might correspond with a bout of tossing and turning, for example, or a partner snoring might cause a break in deeper sleep.

As seems to be the standard with sleep trackers, Sense doubles as a smart alarm, designed to wake you up prior to a designated time just as you begin to stir. A wave of the hand over the top of sphere will trigger its proximity sensor and shut the alarm off. The speaker built into the top can also be used to play soothing sounds to help you sleep, such as rain drops or white noise.

The Sleep Pill is washing machine safe and runs on a coin-cell battery that is claimed to be good for a year's use, while the sphere itself runs on a micro-USB wall charger.

Hello is the San Francisco-based startup behind Sense and is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to take it to market. Initially setting out to raise US$100,00 it has surpassed this goal with little trouble, having attracted over $1.1 million in pledges at the time of writing. A pledge of $99 will have a Sense monitoring system sent your way in November 2014 if the rest of the campaign goes as planned.

You can hear from the Hello team in the pitch video below.

Source: Hello

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

So how does this actually help my sleep? Giving me a score to already confirm a crappy night's sleep is not going to improve my grumpy mood, since when it's too hot or humid, you toss & turn, maybe the noisy dog, or the mattress is too old. Could also be the gas emitted, or snoring by partner. Might as well set -up a video camera, and see all the motion, and tossing, etc..

This does nothing but display a score, N.S. Sherlock, I can feel the mood improve, because I didn't waste $100 bucks.....

Bob Flint

Bob, you had the time to bash it, fine, but you didn't even read the article & watch the video. FAIL.

I think this could be a good thing to have, but I'll wait until its out, so I can see more info on it and read reviews. I have only been involved with 1 Kickstarter project...which was a new type of headphones. I gave them my $150 last November, they told me I'd have them by May...Its nearly August, and I still don't have them....but hey, they tell me I should have it by spring of 2015...YEAY! s/

I will likely not do another kickstarter...because the people shilling their as of yet unmade products, lie about them.

Derek Howe

@ Derek Howe First, you assume that I did not read the entire article, nor watch the video, I did both, in fact I watched the video twice, very nicely done both from a design sense, application, and presentation.

Second, I have the time to respond and truthfully state the absence of value of the product, it can track sound, light, even test the environment pollen count, etc. then tabulates all the data and comes up with a score of how you slept.

The point is that I will close the blinds if it’s too bright, or adjust the temperature, humidity, before I go to bed. Even control the noise when possible. If you suffer from allergies or pet dander or any other source you will know about it. Why? Because your body will tell you.

So what has the orb actually improved for my $100 dollars? Other than stating the obvious listing statistics on your physical environment and giving you a score of how you slept based only on that environment, and how many times you rolled over.

Third, push the envelope, take in to account the personal & emotional side of the body & soul, the state of the mind has far more to do with being able to have an adequate or great night’s sleep. Fear, anger, loneliness, etc. have just as much to do with the mind & body during the recharge cycle we call sleep.

It sounds like you are still angry at the $150 dollars you paid and are still awaiting your headphones.

Personally, I don’t pay out money to a particular product or cause, simply put "I tell it like I see it", if the product has no value from my point of view, or is ill conceived, missing something then I provide my input.

Just as if someone puts out a product or service that is well done, and deserves a critique, or a suggestion to improve the original idea.

Bob Flint
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