January 9, 2014
CES 2014: New Sleep Number Bed Takes Snoring Out Of The Equation
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Sometimes a snoring sleeping partner requires a little nudge to stop them from ruining your sleep, but what if a little shove isn’t enough? The latest Sleep Number bed may have you covered, as the new x12 model has a Partner Snore button that raises the head of the offending sleeper's side of the bed.That button is just one of many new features in the new $8,000 bed. In addition to having the adjustable firmness feature that made Sleep Number famous, the new model boasts extensive sleep monitoring features such as tracking heart and breathing rates. The bed can also track the movements of an entire body to determine sleep quality, instead of simply tracking wrist movement as some wearable devices do.
The bed can gather sleep data from two different people and send it to an iOS app that reports each night's sleeping performance.
"Too much lately we don't get enough sleep," company spokesman Pete Bils told BBC News' Dave Lee. "That places a premium on the quality of sleep that we get."
The new Sleep Number bed was debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, but it wasn’t the only sleep-oriented device on display this year. The French company Withings also showed off a sleep monitoring system called Aura.
"You spend about a third of your life in bed," said Withings spokesperson Alain Amador. "As of now we've only done tracking, but nothing to help you go to sleep and wake up."
The Aura system’s most prominent element is a smart lamp that plays some relaxing sounds and emits a soft, red light into the room at bedtime. The company says the color has been scientifically proven to stimulate the body’s release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. In the morning, the lamp emits a blue light, which is supposed to suppress the secretion of melatonin – encouraging the user to wake up alert.
The system also uses a sensor pad placed under the mattress to record when a user is moving around the most, so the lamp can switch from red to blue at the optimal time.
Another CES product, SleepPhones, are a music-playing headband, described as "pajamas for your ears", while Lighting Science's Good Night light bulb is supposed to filter out the light waves that "get in melatonin's way.”
While some of these products may have the faint aroma of snake oil about them, Brian Blau, an analyst with information technology research and advisory firm Gartner, said the products should be credited for highlighting a long-neglected problem, low sleep quality.
"In the medical field, to diagnose your sleep problems you need to go to a special facility and be there for multiple nights," he said. "So, maybe these consumer sleep products can help people with issues they have."
One interesting product, not at CES, takes sleep-oriented technology in a completely different direction. The Remee sleep mask is said to increase the frequency of lucid dreams, dreams where you're conscious of the fact that you are dreaming. Lucid dreamers are said to have the power to control their own dreams.