Image source: SleepScore Labs

SleepScore Labs smartphone app uses sonar technology to monitor sleep

SleepScore Labs has launched a mobile app that’s designed to track nightly rest by using a smartphone’s microphone and speaker.

Essential reading: Ten gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring

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Image source: SleepScore Labs

The company says their technology is more accurate than statistics you’d get from a fitness tracker. The uniqueness of the approach is in the way it monitors your sleep. Similar to the echo location system used by bats, it detects your kip time without touching you or the sleeping surface.

This is the same technology used by the company’s SleepScore Max device. We reviewed the gizmo back in February and found it to be a great, no hassle solution to monitoring your sleep. Simply place SleepScore Max on your nightstand and it will do its magic by detecting the movement of your upper body while you sleep.

Now you can do the same with your smartphone. I would imagine this can be more convenient as you always have your phone with you. It doesn’t matter whether you are at home, or travelling.

The app uses the phone’s speakers to send inaudible sound waves, which are then picked up by the microphone as they are reflected back off the person sleeping. You just need to make sure the phone is about 6 inches above your chest, facing you of course.

The sophisticated algorithms are able to sense breathing rate and body movements. Even the slightest positional change, arm twitch or shrug will register a spike in the readings.

In the morning, the app breaks your nightly rest into light, heavy and REM sleep – as well as the number of times you woke up and the time it took you to fall asleep. It also awards an overall sleep score ranking from 1 to 100.

“Sleep affects all facets of people’s health, and yet there has been no easy way to accurately measure or track it everywhere we sleep—until now,” said Colin Lawlor, CEO of SleepScore Labs.

“We’ve been developing this technology longer than the iPhone has existed. We’re excited that for the first time, virtually everyone can get a truer picture of their sleep health for free and make smarter decisions about how to get a more restful night’s sleep.”

A free version of the app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. This provides the basics along with a rolling 7 day log. By upgrading to premium (which costs $5.99 per month or $29.99 for the full year), you’ll gain full access to your sleep history, customised advice and more. This is where the company hopes to make money.

Those looking to download on Google Play will need to wait a bit longer. The Android version is currently in the works.

If you would rather opt for SleepScore Max, it can be purchased on the Sleepscore Labs website. There is also an older S+ model. The hardware sports pretty much the same technology but you get a simpler app (view on Amazon).

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