Sense – know more. Sleep better?

26 07 2014

Sense is a current Kickstarter project based around a smart sleep tracking app with associated hardware which monitors and records your quality of sleep and your own bedroom environment.

It is also claimed a smart alarm will also wake you up refreshed without the familiar groggy feeling.

Sense smart sleep app and hardware

Image courtesy of Hello Inc.

Hello Inc. headed by James Proud are the brains behind the innovative project.

The team consist of designers, engineers, and operations staff based in San Francisco, California.

The team with the help of over 7,000 backers have raised just over $900,000 USD since the campaign started, smashing the $100K goal with only two days in.

These impressive figures are however the tip of the iceberg considering Hello themselves have received over $10 Million in investments prior to this.

 

Overview

The heart of the system comprises of a bedside pod which looks like a futuristic golf ball which can give of a pleasant glow using RGB LEDs.

The main unit is powered by a USB wall adapter and is available in cotton white or charcoal colours, although you can order a customised colour at an extra cost to you, namely $1000 USD.

The ergonomically designed plastic housing itself contains an array of ambient light, noise, proximity, temperature and humidity sensors, including a particle sensor to detect pollen.

An integral speaker for playing soothing sounds and a sensitive microphone are incorporated for recording any audible sleep activity, whether it is in the form of snoring or noise disturbances, etc.

The Sense pod uses the Wi-Fi protocol to connect to your computer network.

The small pill sensor clips on to your pillow.

It consists of a 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope designed to pick up any tiny disturbances and bodily movements made during the night.

The pill is waterproof and is designed to be changed every year due to battery life. This has been revised and changed recently to a replacement coin sized battery after feedback from numerous backers.

Bluetooth LE and ANT technology is used to connect wirelessly to the pill sensor without needing to pair or sync.

The software app gives you a unique sleep score out of 100 which can be interpreted to how well or indeed, how badly you slept last night.

The app will make a note of any changes. You can use it to check and correlate any external interruptions too.

An API is also available for you to interact with.

Luke Skywalker light sabre training

“I only woke you up Luke!”

 

Here’s the rub

The product fits rather unobtrusively in with the current sleep gadgets craze that we have seen recently on various crowdfunding websites including Kickstarter.

It is promoted around the idea of us all spending a third of our lives actually sleeping.

Some backers have raised concerns about government access, security and possible data-mining issues by third-party companies, especially as Amazon cloud servers are used to store the recovered data, given there is a mysterious investor already behind the project.

The team do highlight the use of secure SSL and that key sounds would not form part of data transmission as this would be recorded on the Sense hardware buffer.

It however seems to us a viable concern which has been raised especially in the light of Facebook and Google themselves in how they handle data recently.

I mean the sleep market is quite lucrative especially when we look at the following quote again:

“While you sleep at night, you have no idea what is happening. Nobody is even thinking about the most important room of our lives and how it impacts us: the bedroom,” says Proud.

 

Hacks

Several backers wanted to see other useful features that could be built in the sense pod itself, including a CO2 sensor which could monitor the carbon dioxide levels in the room.

You could go further I guess, considering the amount of sensors that are fitted. Maybe Sense could be tweaked for using as a baby monitor (without Bluetooth perhaps,) an intruder alarm or even a device to check out and investigate haunted rooms like for ghost hunting, etc.

However quite a few backers have raised their concerns about possible Bluetooth radiation issues from the device via the Kickstarter project comment page.

Maybe Sense could be used as an aid to lucid dreaming perhaps where you could interpret the data from the accelerometer and use the alarm functions to have DEILDs (Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dreams) for example.

 

Availability

Currently the Sense sleep system is available for *$99 USD as a pledge with an expected shipment date due in November 2014.

*(Shipping is $15 outside the U.S.)

An iOS or Android smartphone with Bluetooth LE support is currently needed.

A Windows phone application is not currently available.

 

We at Lucid Dream Art reckon you should sleep on it!

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