Misfit’s new sleep monitor puts biometric sensors underneath the sheets

by tech on July 10, 2014

Wearable computing startup Misfit, best known for its Shine activity tracker, announced a new piece of hardware on Thursday. But unlike the Shine, you don’t wear this sensor-laden product – the Misfit Beddit Sleep System is “worn” on a bed, underneath the sheets.

The Beddit is focused on measuring sleep cycles and quality. The actual device is a skinny, sensor-laden dongle that is meant to semi-permanently lie on top of a mattress. Sensors in the hardware measure a number of biometric signals, using ballistocardiography, movement, and sound data to estimate respiration, heart rate, and even snoring. Like the Shine, the Beddit transmits this data to the Misfit app over Bluetooth. Later this fall, a new version will come out that uses the Bluetooth Low Energy standard.

The Shine in the sports watch accessory

The Shine in the sports watch accessory

Misfit’s Shine wearable has sleep tracking capabilities, but as Katie Fehrenbacher noted in her weekend with the wearable tracker, users have to activate the Shine by tapping it three times before starting an activity. So if you forgot to tap your Shine before hitting the hay, you’d lose your stats for the night.The Beddit is intended to remove a barrier to consistent sleep tracking by requiring less active participation from the user.

The Misfit Shine found success as a device with slightly more attractive industrial design that other wearable trackers. The Beddit’s looks are far less important; it’s meant to be hidden under sheets and covers.

Last month, Misfit announced that it intends to start licensing its proprietary sensor algorithms, starting with an app that uses the accelerometer on the Pebble smartwatch to turn it into a pedometer. So it’s clear that Misfit isn’t making hardware for hardware’s sake, but is rather filling a specific niche with the Beddit — people who want to specifically track their sleep.

The Beddit Sleep monitor costs $150 — which is not that expensive for someone affected by, say, sleep apnea — and is available from the Misfit online store.

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