Temperature, humidity, light and noise: by capturing all this kind of data, the Sense system aims to take a broader view than currently available devices that assess your sleep patterns.

Sleep Pattern Analysis – with a Non-Wearable Device

A third of all French people have difficulty sleeping, reveals a study a survey carried by InVS, France’s national Institute for Health Monitoring. So it is hardly surprising that there is a wide range of wearable electronics on the market designed to track and analyse people’s sleep patterns, the connected wristbands Fitbit and Jawbone being perhaps the best-known examples. In order to be effective however, the device has to be worn throughout the night, which not everyone finds convenient or conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. “People are clearly worried about their sleep, but they don’t necessarily want to wear an object, or have to remember to recharge it or press a button before they go to bed,” points out 22-year-old British entrepreneur James Proud. This is why Sense, the new sleep measurement system developed by his company Hello, now based in California, is definitely not a wearable device.

Analysing the ambient environment

The Sense system comprises two pieces of equipment: an orb which you place close to your bed and a 'sleep pill' which clips on to a pillow. These two devices exchange information via Bluetooth. Another feature of the Sense system is that it does not only measure sleep length and quality. It also analyses the entire sleep environment in order to gain a better understanding of all external factors which could explain a bad night. “The bedroom is the most important room in our lives. Yet when we’re asleep, we have no idea what’s happening around us,” Proud underlines. Ambient information is captured by the main sensor, an elegant orb whose design is based on bird’s nests. Data on temperature, humidity, light, noise, and particles in the air is collected all through the night, forming a basis for potential recommendations on what to do in order to improve our sleep quality.

Daily reports, smart alarm

The third component of the system is a smartphone app. Every morning it provides a report on the previous night, giving the user’s sleep experience a score out of 100, and also makes available all the information gathered during the night. Moreover, the app enables the user to listen to all the various noises recorded by the sensors, which could explain why for instance s/he woke up suddenly at 3 o’clock in the morning. Like the Jawbone wristband, Sense also incorporates a ‘smart’ alarm, which will take account of the time when the person needs to get up but will wake the sleeper at the most appropriate moment in his/her sleep cycle. The Sense system is expected to be on the market in November. At the moment the company is conducting a fund-raising campaign on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and at time of writing close to $2 million had already been pledged.

By Jérôme Marin