Sleep: a New Activity Area

Opportunities in Down Time

IFA2015_lSmart sleep is in vogue.

CCS Insight recently conducted an end-user study in which we interviewed 3,000 consumers in three countries (China, the UK and US) about fitness trackers (please see our User Survey: Wearables research for more information). Sleep monitoring featured as a key selling point among those who already own and those who don’t currently own a fitness tracker. About 21 percent of those who currently own a tracker said that monitoring sleep was their primary reason for buying, while 35 percent of those without a tracker said that sleep monitoring capabilities would be the key reason to purchase one.

Activity trackers and sleep monitors of various sorts have been around for several years, able to monitor things like movement and breathing patterns during the night. A new generation of well-being devices is now entering the area of sleep therapeutics, incorporating sleep into a connected lifestyle. The claims are interesting, and there could come a time when we wonder how we got by without sensor-filled connected smart beds and therapeutic sleep lighting.

New products could establish the concept of sleep logging: the constant collection of sleep data for analysis to determine long-term patterns and corrective measures.

Last week, Samsung introduced SleepSense, a USB-powered sleep monitor that the user slips underneath their mattress. Samsung says the device has sensors to collect information on body movement, heart rates and breathing during the night. The data is fed into a smartphone app for analysis and provides the user with a “sleep score” based on details like sleep duration, time taken to fall asleep, the number of times the user woke up, the percentage of time in REM sleep and percentage of time in deep sleep. The app offers the user feedback and personalized tips on how to improve their sleep, covering topics such as lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. SleepSense also has a smart alarm feature, which Samsung says provides the user with a gradual wake-up and won’t go off during deep sleep, preventing grogginess and irritability.

Samsung’s growing connected home portfolio gives it an advantage in the product category — SleepSense could be merged into the smart home by communicating with other Samsung smart devices including air conditioners, television sets, connected light bulbs and other products that can affect sleep. Samsung says that SleepSense could make adjustments to provide an optimal sleeping environment, perhaps adjusting the room temperature or making sure the TV is off.

France-based Withings, maker of fitness wearables and connected home products, also introduced a sleep light last week. The device works together with a separate Withings sleep monitor, and the company announced a partnership with Spotify to offer a “complete wake-up and sleep experience”.

Withings says its Aura Total Sleep System provides the user with optimal lighting during the night, simulating various natural lighting conditions for the secretion of melatonin or a more gradual wake-up. The light works together with an under-mattress monitor and a smartphone app to make adjustments as well as determine sleep patterns over time. Aura connects to Spotify to access playlists including the product’s specially engineered “wake-up programs” for additional sleep therapeutics.

Samsung and Withings are making some interesting claims with these consumer-level sleep monitors. There’s no doubt that well-being is a 24-hour cycle, and educating people about the importance of healthy sleep habits could develop a market for such products. Creating an optimized sleep habitat is a natural extension of the smart home. Smart sleep is trending.

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