Apple is rumored to be introducing sleep tracking with the next Apple Watch, but that’s not the only device with the company is working on to track a user’s sleep. According to a new patent filed by the iPhone maker, the company is working on a sleep tracking blanket and mattress.
Ever wondered what if Apple makes a blanket or a mattress? How would it look? What features would it have? Well, the company is indeed working on technologies to bring sleep tracking to smart blankets and smart mattresses, and it wouldn’t be the first company to do so. Companies like Beddit and Withings already make sensors that you can use with your current mattresses to tracking sleep.
According to a new patent filed by Apple with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office), Apple thinks that wearing smartwatches and fitness bands to track sleep might make some users uncomfortable, which can then negatively affect their sleep patterns. To that effect, the Cupertino-based tech firm’s solution is to create bedding that can track a users’ sleep without disturbing them.
Unlike other sleep tracking sensors that are placed under the bed, Apple proposes a large set of sensors that are integrated into various parts of a blanket or a mattress. The sensors would include accelerometers, electrodes, piezoelectric sensors, and temperature sensors to measure the movement and temperature of the users that are sleeping on the bed. It can track sleep timing and sleep quality of everyone who is sleeping on the bed.
Apple’s proposed system also offers feedback and suggestions to improve a user’s sleep quality. It can also talk to smart home devices such as a thermostat or smart lights through HomeKit to control the lighting and temperature of the room to help a user in attaining better sleep quality.
The sleep tracking blanket and mattress can sync with an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or a Mac to show sleep-related data in forms of graphs. Data includes heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, respiratory rate variability, user’s motion, and temperature. That’s a lot of data to look at, but we’re sure Apple will find a way to display the data in a simplistic matter.
The company also says that the blanket could also be turned into an electric blanket and directly alter the temperature itself. It could heat up or cool down as per the requirement of multiple users, offering them thermal comfort.
Apple’s sleep tracking bedding seems quite interesting and feature-rich, being able to not only track sleep of the user but also directly contact smart thermostats and lights to offer better sleeping conditions. It sounds to be far better than any other sleep tracking product that’s on the offer in the market right now.
However, we think that it could be years before we could see Apple releasing such products. There’s also a chance of Apple not releasing such a product ever as the company would have to look at the market size and estimate how many people could end up buying such products and how often would they upgrade from an existing model. If it doesn’t make business sense for Apple to launch smart bedding, it could completely ditch the idea.[Source: USPTO]