Tag Archives: sleep

Get the Zzzzs in with Witti at CES



Witti are reasonably well-known for their Beddi collection of stylish bedside clocks and lights which both help the sleeper doze off and wake them gently in the morning. Expanding their product portfolio, Witti is introducing Sleepi and Todd finds out from Alfred what it can offer snoozers.

Sleepi is a sleep monitoring system, comprising of a bedside light and clock, a sleep tracker that goes under the mattress and the obligatory smartphone app. The app tracks sleep and wakefulness, providing a report in the morning. What makes Sleepi different is that it works with smart homes to figure out what interrupted the sleep, e.g. the room was too hot, and then adjust the temperature automatically. That’s smart.

A Kickstarter launch is planned for Sleepi, with shipping towards the end of 2017. Expected retail price around US$149.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Fall Asleep Effortlessly with 2breathe at CES



Getting enough sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle but for some people the problem isn’t just about getting into bed early enough, it’s about falling asleep. Israeli firm 2breathe has developed a smart sensor and complementary app to help those who have difficulty nodding off. Todd relaxes with Erez.

2breathe is a guided breathing system that uses a body-worn sensor to read the breaths in and out. The app records the breathing rate and then using softly-spoken instructions and gentle music, gradually reduces the breathing speed of the wearer. As the breathing rate slows, the soon-to-be-sleeper will get drowsy and fall asleep. In the morning, the app produces a session report, showing the time to snooze and breathing patterns.

The CES Innovation committee though this was a good idea too, awarding 2breathe a CES Honoree Innovation Award.

2breathe is available now for US$179, either direct from 2breathe or other major online retailers. It’s currently only available for Apple iOS devices.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Emfit QS Sleep Monitor at Wearable Tech Show



Emfit LogoIn the first of our interviews from the 2016 Wearable Technology Show, Andrew interviews Timo from Emfit to hear about the Emfit QS, which monitors sleep and gives detailed information on sleep quality and stress levels.

The Emfit QS is a thin strip which is placed under the sleeper’s mattress and then communicates with a web portal via wifi (app coming soon). Aimed at athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the Emfit QS Collects data throughout the night, including heart rate, respiration and activity. The portal provides a dashboard for reviewing and analysing the data, looking for sleep-affecting patterns. Improvements in health and fitness can be tracked over the long term.

Emfit

Available now, the Emfit QS costs €299.


Sleep Better with Sleepace at CES



Sleepace LogoSleep is great. Not only does it refresh you for the coming day, your behaviour while asleep can provide indicators to health issues such as sleep apnea. Howard Borenstein, President of Sleepace takes Jamie through snooze system.

Sleepace compromises three components. First is the Reston, a flat band which goes under the mattress and records night-time behaviour. Second a complementary smartphone app which downloads the data via Bluetooth from the Reston and show stats about your shut-eye. The app helps you understand and improve your sleep, highlighting issues such as sleep apnea or heart rate problems. Finally the Nox light helps you get to sleep by producing red light and later gently wakes you from slumber.

This is the only non-wearable sleep tracking system I’ve seen, so if you don’t like wearing anything in bed (!), check it out. The Reston band is available now and the full Sleepace system including the Nox will be available in March or US$279.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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Variowell Offers a Smart Mattress at CES



Variowell logoGetting a good night’s sleep is one of the more important things in life, and a good mattress goes a long way in getting that snooze. Variowell have a revolutionary foam for making a comfortable mattress that can dynamically change its firmness. Todd and Daniel find out more from Philipp Kirchoff.

Many of us will have encountered memory foam which softens to body temperature. Variowell have developed a dynamic foam where relatively small changes in temperature can make significant changes in density. By controlling the temperature from below the mattress, Variowell can change the firmness of the mattress during the night in response to the sleeper. As sleep gets deeper, the mattress can be softer, and then get firmer in the hour before the alarm goes off.

The relative density of the mattress can be controlled by the complementary smartphone app which communicates with the mattress via Bluetooth. The responsiveness to sleep phases is enhanced by connecting to wearable sleep trackers such as Fitbit, which can more accurately measure the sleeper’s state.

The first smart mattresses are expected to come onto the market in May with prices from US$1700 depending on size.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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Huawei TalkBand B1 Review



Huawei Logo2014 seems to have been the year of the fitness tracker and there will be plenty nestling underneath the Christmas tree come 25th December. Huawei has joined the market with the TalkBand B1, a wrist-worn fitness and sleep tracker fused with a Bluetooth earpiece. You may think that this is a somewhat odd combination so let’s take a look at the TalkBand B1 and see whether walking and talking is a killer combination.

The Huawei TalkBand B1 was first shown back in February at Mobile World Congress and it hasn’t change much since then. The B1 consists of a coloured wristband (white, grey, black, yellow, red and blue) with an embedded 1.4″ OLED display that shows the current time, steps taken, calories burned and time snoozed. The button on the top moves the display between the four different stats. The wristband comes in two sizes, small and large: the review unit was the small one and I could only just get the B1 on my wrist using the very end holes – if you are buying, make sure that you get the right size.

Huawei Talkband B1

When a phone call comes into a paired phone, the screen shows the caller or phone number, but where’s the Bluetooth earpiece? Cleverly, the OLED display unit pops out of the wristband and becomes the earpiece. As you’d expect, the display shows who is on the line when the phone rings. The earpiece was comfortable to wear but it’s not that secure, though there are three different sizes of loop to help keep it in the ear, but I think you’d only wear it while on a call and put it back when you are done.

Huawei Talkband B1 Earpiece

Huawei Talkband B1 earpiece

The TalkBand B1 charges via a USB connector cleverly hidden in the strap. The battery life is good and over the two week loan, I only had to charge the band a few times. YMMV as they say. The B1 is IP57 rated so it’s water resistant enough that jogging in the rain won’t be a problem.

Huawei Talkband B1 USB

In use the B1 seemed reasonably accurate. I say “reasonably” because if I walked 10 deliberate steps and checked the counter I would have done 10 steps, but I found that the B1 didn’t always count more casual steps. For example, one afternoon when I did a combination of walking, standing and sitting, my Fitbit said that I’d done 2780 steps to the B1’s 2330. I guess it depends on your point of view as to whether you only want full steps to count towards your daily 10,000 steps (which can be changed to suit your own goals).

The B1 also tracks sleep and kept a good note of that – it appeared to easily tell the difference between lounging on the sofa and having a good snooze. If you have been still too long, the B1 will buzz you and show a little animation to encourage a bit of stretching or movement. The instructions suggested the time between prompts could be altered but I couldn’t see how to do it; it’s possible that it was an iOS feature not available on Android which brings us neatly to the app.

A complementary (and complimentary) app syncs the step and sleep information via Bluetooth from the Talkband B1 to both Android and iOS smartphones, showing stats on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I was using the Android version.

Summary

Activity Graph

Sleep Tracking

The app is straightforward but doesn’t offer much beyond recording activity and some simple interpretation. Disappointingly, there didn’t wasn’t the possibility to upload or share the information between multiple devices, which I think is very much needed when most people have both tablets and smartphones. As mentioned earlier and from reading the instructions, it would appear that the iOS app has greater functionality but I wasn’t able to check that out.

In terms of negatives, the main downside of the Talkband B1 is its size and that it rises well above the wrist. For me, I found it wouldn’t slide under shirt sleeves and in particular, it caught on my trouser pocket every time I reached in to get my wallet out. On the plus side, the instant availability of a Bluetooth headset was great, especially when driving.

Overall, the Huawei TalkBand B1 worked well and was useful but because of the size I’d find it hard to recommend as an everyday wear fitness tracker. I could very much see myself keeping it in my sports bag and putting it on before going for a run or using the treadmill. The Bluetooth earpiece was handy too, so if  the next iteration was a bit smaller or flatter, it could be a winner.

The TalkBand B1 is available from retailers for around GB£100. Thanks to Huawei for the loan of the TalkBand B1.