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+.
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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.