A Look at What Apple Could Do With Beddit's Sleep Technology

Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits.

The acquisition is unusual because it appears Apple plans to keep selling the Beddit hardware while collecting sleep-related data from users. For that reason, we took a look at some of the things Apple might be planning to do with this data and how it might impact future products.

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Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site.

Apple appears to have purchased Beddit for its sleep sensing technology. Beddit uses a $150 sleep monitoring device that's placed under the bottom sheet of a mattress, collecting data on everything from sleep time and efficiency to heart rate and respiration. It also tracks movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity to determine factors that might disturb sleep.

Beddit's sensor uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions, a non-invasive monitoring technology that's similar to the light-based photoplethysmography the Apple Watch uses to monitor heart rate.

With BCG, when the heart beats, it measures the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system, providing a wealth of data about the body.

Apple is likely interested in the sensor technology used in the Beddit device, and has indeed hired medical experts who have worked with ballistocardiography in the past, but the data collected also seems to be of interest due to the company's decision to keep selling the Beddit sensor.

Beddit's technology and data could be used for any number of things, from advancing sleep research for efforts like HealthKit and CareKit to implementing more advanced health-tracking technology and sleep monitoring functionality into the Apple Watch or other future wearable devices.

For the immediate future, it appears Apple will continue to sell the Beddit hardware as part of a standalone brand like Beats, but the company's longer-term plans for Beddit are unknown.

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
Any technology to silence the neighbor's dog?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago

What is the point of having all these features when watch can not run with charging for more than 12 hrs

I guess you've never used an Apple Watch. The first gen watch would go at least 24 hours on a charge. I used the first gen watch with 2 different sleep tracking apps, without battery issues. I would simply charge the watch every morning while taking a shower and getting dressed for work, and I was good to go.

The second gen watches (series 1&2...I have a 2) last much longer. My series 2 will go a full 2 days without a charge. And these are not just my isolated examples. My company has developed an Apple Watch app, and our testing confirms the same general conclusions.

It's not helpful to the discussion to throw out baseless half truths.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
Today's news has been a real snooze....
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
I think stuff like this is really useful for research, but I'm not sure how it helps the average consumer. I'm not even to the point that sleep quality is a problem-- I need to solve my sleep quantity problem. All the graphs in the world aren't going to solve it though. Just like all the fitness tracking in my watch isn't solving the problem that I don't exercise enough.

I could generate a 20 page Keynote presentation full of precision data on my lack of sleep and exercise, but it doesn't really change the facts.
[doublepost=1494459426][/doublepost]Side note: I thought ballistocardiography was something assasins studied...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
Apple is about to do it again!!!

...and by "it" I mean solve a problem that no one has.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
I would get a great night's sleep by keeping the room dark and going to bed at a reasonable time. No app required.

Technology is always pitched as making our lives better. In reality, much of it is pointless, and it's destroying our humanity.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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