Review: Apple's Beddit Sleep Monitor Offers a Comprehensive Look at Sleep Quality

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Earlier this month, Apple purchased its first company that develops health-related hardware, Beddit. Beddit makes an iPhone-connected Sleep Monitor that tracks a wide range of sleep-related metrics, from heart rate and sleep time to room temperature and respiration.

When Apple acquires a company, the company in question typically shuts down and stops selling whatever product it makes as Apple assimilates the technology into its own offerings, but that's not the case with Beddit. Apple is still selling the Beddit Sleep Monitor in its stores, and the Beddit privacy policy has been updated to note that Apple is collecting Beddit sleep data.


That raises some interesting questions about Apple's future plans. Will that sleep tracking data contribute to an upcoming Apple Watch with sleep tracking functionality? Does Apple have plans for some other kind of sleep tracking device? Will Beddit be one of several health-related companies Apple purchases so it can sell a range of hardware products?

Apple's plans for the Beddit technology may be a mystery right now, but we can take a closer look at the Sleep Monitor to see just what it can do, what kind of data Apple is gathering, and whether it's worth buying. I bought a Beddit Sleep Monitor shortly after Apple announced its acquisition, and I've been testing it for the past 10 days.

The Beddit Sleep Monitor belongs to a class of sleep tracking devices that aren't wearable. It's meant to be placed directly on the bed under the sheets rather than on the body. Design wise, it consists of a long strip of fabric that's about 2.5 feet in length and three inches wide. One side is a soft, pliable material, while the other side, which sits on the mattress, is backed with rubber so it stays in place. It's small enough that it's easy to pack up when traveling.


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Article Link: Review: Apple's Beddit Sleep Monitor Offers a Comprehensive Look at Sleep Quality
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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Palookaville
I wonder how the sensor works, and also whether Apple perhaps did not buy the company for this technology primarily.

Also, hate to bring it up again but: on top of the mattress is under the bottom sheet, not the top sheet.
 

jclo

Editor
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Dec 7, 2012
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I wonder how the sensor works, and also whether Apple perhaps did not buy the company for this technology primarily.

Also, hate to bring it up again but: on top of the mattress is under the bottom sheet, not the top sheet.
I have no idea why I keep making that error. Thanks for the heads up -- properly says bottom sheet now. As for the sensor technology, maybe. There are several sleep tracking devices that use similar sensors, but the way a sensor is built is a major factor, and so are the algorithms that interpret the data. Beddit uses a piezoelectric sensor, a capacitive touch sensor, and then a sensor for humidity and temperature.
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
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Awesome datagasm material, unfortunately just reading the reviews it seems to be getting very average scores. Think I'll stick with my phone sleep tracking app and Fitbit for the moment.
 

Zirel

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Jul 24, 2015
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Okay, but it doesn't take a genius to know what really makes a good night of sleep, and I don't think I need a gadget to tell me I slept well...
 
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Sleep Junkies

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May 26, 2017
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I have no idea why I keep making that error. Thanks for the heads up -- properly says bottom sheet now. As for the sensor technology, maybe. There are several sleep tracking devices that use similar sensors, but the way a sensor is built is a major factor, and so are the algorithms that interpret the data. Beddit uses a piezoelectric sensor, a capacitive touch sensor, and then a sensor for humidity and temperature.
Great summary of Beddit 3.

Just to add, the sensor strip is using a technique known as ballistocardiography (BCG).

It's neither proprietary technology (there are several other similar sleep tracking sensors - Withings Aura, Sleepace, EMfit QS) nor is it new (BCG was discovered in the late 19th century).

BCG essentially takes body measurements by 'listening' to the ejection of the blood at each cardiac cycle. As the Beddit brochure explains:

"Each time the heart beats, the acceleration of blood generates a mechanical impulse that can be measured with a proper force sensor, such as the Beddit Sleep Monitor."

If I was to make a bet, I'd say Apple are going to keep the Beddit hardware as an addon to boost the iWatch's sleep tracking credibility.

The combination of all night sleep tracking data plus the watch's all day heart rate fitness stats could add up to more than the sum of its parts, giving users a highly accurate full 24-hr health profile - on a level that no other tech/wearable firm has been able to do yet.

Just a guess.....
 

sshambles

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Oct 19, 2005
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I'll stick with Hello's Sense - it does everything this thing does - except heart rate and bpm. Had it for 3 years or so now and the updates to it are fantastic.
 
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Sleep Junkies

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2017
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I'll stick with Hello's Sense - it does everything this thing does - except heart rate and bpm. Had it for 3 years or so now and the updates to it are fantastic.
Sense is a great design success, but in terms of sleep-tech, it's extremely lo-fi. It only has an accelerometer (movement) sensor so it's no more capable than a free phone app that does sleep tracking.

With heart-rate and breathing data you can make a reasonable algorithmic calculation of sleep staging, although ideally you need EEG data too.
 

sshambles

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2005
725
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I don't need more comprehensive data than that, tbh. It keeps track of the room, deep and light sleep, and sets alarms to wake me up. It's everything I want it to be. It doesn't interest me in heart-rate data, Apple Watch will do that, breathing, meh. Each to their own though.
 

Sleep Junkies

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2017
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Yes, as an environmental monitor and smart alarm it works well.

Honestly don't understand why the company has been valued at $200million though!
 

tennisproha

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2011
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I think the fact that it can't accurately measure sleep time itself pretty much defeats even the most basic purpose for getting one. If it can't distinguish sleeping in bed versus reading in bed, it's not ready for market.

A few years ago someone posted a review about how the electrical fields they measured on this thing were off the charts. Granted, the gauss values they referenced were probably too unbelievable to be believed; it does raise questions about how effective all this really is and whether it might actually be doing more harm than good. At least right now when the technology is in its early infancy.
[doublepost=1495839123][/doublepost]
Yes, as an environmental monitor and smart alarm it works well.

Honestly don't understand why the company has been valued at $200million though!
Welcome! Given the fact that you've just created your account, and your posts thus far, it's hard to fathom how you aren't a paid spokesperson for Beddit.
 
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Sleep Junkies

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2017
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Welcome! Given the fact that you've just created your account, and your posts thus far, it's hard to fathom how you aren't a paid spokesperson for Beddit.
Hi,

Not a spokesperson or fanboy of any flavor.

Just someone who knows a bit about this stuff. (google my name and you'll see) .

Your post references a 2014 prototype, so it's not really that relevant to anything. But you're right that sleep-tech is still in its infancy.

The real question however has nothing to do with technology.

It's about the as yet unanswered question as to whether there's such a thing as an 'objective measure of sleep'.

My point is, scientists still don't know if humans are inherently monophasic or bi-phasic sleepers, what constitutes a healthy sleep duration, etc etc. Sleep, is many ways largely a mystery.

Hence, how can we track, measure or quantify something we barely know about?

Oh, and forgot to mention I've been a Mac user since System 7!
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
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I have no idea why I keep making that error. Thanks for the heads up -- properly says bottom sheet now. As for the sensor technology, maybe. There are several sleep tracking devices that use similar sensors, but the way a sensor is built is a major factor, and so are the algorithms that interpret the data. Beddit uses a piezoelectric sensor, a capacitive touch sensor, and then a sensor for humidity and temperature.
Perhaps they owned some useful sensor technology patents? It's the only thing I can imagine Apple going after in terms of applicability to hardware Apple sells now, or might develop in the future.
[doublepost=1495841509][/doublepost]
Okay, but it doesn't take a genius to know what really makes a good night of sleep, and I don't think I need a gadget to tell me I slept well...
Where is that eye-roll emoji when we really need it?

Oh, yeah. Here. :rolleyes:
 

Geohord

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2016
40
10
To sleep better what you need is to stay away from electromagnetic radiation, that is what you need.
 
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Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,105
5,906
Humans have been sleeping fine for tens of thousands of years. This is a solution in search of a problem, just like most of this connected garbage.
Despite many humans sleeping fine, many other people have serious problems doing so. It would be great if things like this could help those people.

More paranoia for hypochondriacs.
The irony of paranoia and hypchondria is that while they involve being concerned about things one need not be concerned about, that concern itself can be a very real problem that is worthwhile dealing with. If and when such technology proves accurate enough, eventually this could help reassure hypochondriacs with factual data and so help combat their hypochondria.

How does it work when two people share a bed?
From the full review (if you click 'to read more'):

The Sleep Monitor is meant to be placed underneath the bottom sheet of a bed, on top of the mattress near where the heart is located when you lie down. It can be placed on one side of the bed in a shared bed, or in the middle for a person who sleeps alone. While it can be used in a shared bed, Beddit is meant for one person, and because the sensor is directly underneath the body, it accurately picks up the movement of a single person even when two people are in the bed.
 

nnoble

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2011
418
470
Lots of people are not sleeping fine. Be happy if you do, and pray that it doesn't change.
And if you are not sleeping well you know about it and you invariably know why. For the overwhelming majority, this is expensive and uneccessary. Health services throughout the world are being clogged up with people who present themselves for no genuine reason and this is impacting negatively on the genuinely sick. You do NOT need hardware to tell you your room is too hot, too cold, too noisy, too light, too humid, because commonsense tells you this and has been doing so for hundreds of years. Arguably, the focus on health is going too far.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
And if you are not sleeping well you know about it and you invariably know why. For the overwhelming majority, this is expensive and uneccessary. Health services throughout the world are being clogged up with people who present themselves for no genuine reason and this is impacting negatively on the genuinely sick. You do NOT need hardware to tell you your room is too hot, too cold, too noisy, too light, too humid, because commonsense tells you this and has been doing so for hundreds of years. Arguably, the focus on health is going too far.
Darn, did I use up my quota of roll-eye emojis?

Oh, good, I still have one! :rolleyes:
 
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