People don’t sleep much anymore. There have been many studies that show this, as well as those that claim we sleep too much regardless of the number of hours. Maybe the problem isn’t the amount we sleep, but the quality of the zzz’s we are getting. An issue that Sense wants to correct.
Sense is a gadget currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It is a two-piece device. One is a sphere that monitors the environment for movement, sound, light and other elements, provides white noise or sounds on request, and functions as an alarm. The second is a tiny “pill” that clips onto your pillow to monitor your own movement through the night, and when you slip in and out of REM.
Using the two different elements, Sense can both track your sleep cycle, make a note of disturbances and what time they occurred in the area around you, and then give you information when you wake up. The alarm can even be programmed to wake you up during the most ideal time, at the end of a sleep cycle, so you feel more refreshed.
All of this is compatible with a mobile app, available for both iPhone and Android.
The idea is to provide you with a sleep score. That score can help you to figure out what nights you sleep better, and what interruptions cause the most disturbance. Having this information makes it easy to improve your sleep by eliminating those outside sources, or adjusting your routine to compensate for them.
For example, if a neighbor going to work at 5 AM disturbs your sleep cycle, you can use the Sense to create white or pink noise, or rain sounds, to cover for them. If the temperature gets too high or low at night, you can adjust it before bed to be ready for that change.
Your aim will be to consistently begin seeing a high sleep score that indicates a better night’s rest, so you feel better and function more efficiently through the day.
Anyone who has used Sleepyti.me knows that we have numerous natural sleep cycles through the night. When we wake up before the end of these cycles, we will be groggy and less rested. So timing it can be important.
Sense times cycles more precisely, thanks to the pill attached to your pillow. When you put in the time that you have to be up in the app, it will find a good waking point prior to that time based on your nearest ending cycle. So you can wake up refreshed.
With numerous sensors within the device, you don’t have to worry about this being an estimation. A full awareness of your environment keeps it tracking accurately.
The design itself is attractive, which was a pleasant surprise. The pill is small enough that you won’t notice hinder anything while on the pillow. As for the Sense, it is a sphere that comes in white or black. For an additional price, you can get a customized color, but the prototypes look good.
It has a number of straps weaving over the front, covering a speaker that is powerful enough to function as an alarm in spite of noise around you. So it could be heard over music or a fan, if needed.
They have several options available. You can get a single Sense and pill for $99, or a Sense and two pills (for two people tracked) for $129. There is also a family/friend option. where you can buy five for $399, a pretty good deal.
For those who donate $1,000, the designers will work with you to create a customized color in what they claim is a one-time offer. For $5,000, you can go to their studio and create your own alongside their developers, becoming intimately familiar with how it is built.
Maybe not the best idea, to give away their trade secrets, but it is on the table.
I am buying this. No, really, I don’t usually invest in Kickstarter gadgets (preferring to wait until they come up with a second generation device), but I plan on giving this one a try. The $139 price tag for a two person starter kit is too good not to.
Besides, we could all use a little help to get better sleep, right?