The concept of tracking your sleep seems beneficial, but what if you’d rather not wear a clumsy wearable to bed in order to get it done? The Sense by Hello sleep tracker aims to do just that.
How exactly does the Sense complete this task? The system uses an orb (Sense) that is placed on your nightstand, and a clip (Sleep Pill) that attaches to your pillow. The orb measures the room’s environment as well as sleep disturbances throughout the night, while the clip is the actual sleep tracking sensor. A mobile app pulls all the data together, giving you a sleep score after every night’s (hopefully) peaceful sleep.
Through a recording system, you’ll be able to accurately determine why you became restless during the middle of the night:
You can begin to correlate interruptions in your sleep to external conditions and disturbances. You can play back key sound disturbances via the app to say “Ah, the garbage truck broke my sleep cycle at 3am. I didn’t even realize that.”
Of course, the same mechanism that allows Sense to play back disturbances also allows the system to play calming white noise.
Sounds great so far, but the Sleep Pill is where things really start to get innovative. The tiny, circular disk attaches to your pillow and packs a 6-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope. Essentially, this thing is going to pick up any and all movements you make. Furthermore, it lasts a full year and is water-proof – washing machines are no match for the Sleep Pill. My favorite aspect of the Sleep Pill though? If you share your bed with a partner, simply attach a second Sleep Pill to their pillow and the Sense can accumulate data from both devices.
The Sense uses a large battery of data to determine a Sleep Score. In addition to information from the Sleep Pill, the orb gathers environmental information from its numerous sensors: ambient light sensor, temperature and humidity sensor, and particulate sensor.
While I saw familiar with the first few sensors listed, I needed some help understanding the scope of the particulate sensor. According to Hello, the sensor is pretty impressive:
Particulate Sensor can spot the tiniest of things floating around in the air, so tiny you can’t even see most of them. But they are there, and they are potential sleep interruptors for many; more than 50 million people suffer from nasal allergies. If the pollen count is high in your neighborhood and Sense detects a rising level of microscopic particles in your bedroom, you should know.
What would a sleep tracker be without an intelligent alarm system? Sense uses information from the Sleep Pill about when you are beginning to stir to determine the most appropriate time to wake you up. Rather than the unforgiving, unchanging alarm your smartphone currently blares, Sense will wake you up provided you have set an alarm within that time range. Hello believes this feature will help you wake up more alert and refreshed.
The Sense system sounds great, if it works. As Ross Rubin pointed out in his article on the subject, taking the sleep tracker off the body affords the system both advantages and disadvantages. Wearing a sleep tracker might be cumbersome, but it will likely be more effective at measuring biological sleep factors than a pillow clip.
The Kickstarter is very near reaching its funding goal as of this posting, so the device has definitely garnered interest, and for good reason. From the system’s description, it is a true powerhouse with the ability to track a multitude of sleep factors. Provided all of those factors are tracked accurately and the app works seamlessly, Sense by Hello could be a hit for the right consumer.