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

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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A Look at What Apple Could Do With Beddit’s Sleep Technology

Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits.

The acquisition is unusual because it appears Apple plans to keep selling the Beddit hardware while collecting sleep-related data from users. For that reason, we took a look at some of the things Apple might be planning to do with this data and how it might impact future products.

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Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site.

Apple appears to have purchased Beddit for its sleep sensing technology. Beddit uses a $150 sleep monitoring device that's placed under the bottom sheet of a mattress, collecting data on everything from sleep time and efficiency to heart rate and respiration. It also tracks movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity to determine factors that might disturb sleep.

Beddit's sensor uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions, a non-invasive monitoring technology that's similar to the light-based photoplethysmography the Apple Watch uses to monitor heart rate.

With BCG, when the heart beats, it measures the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system, providing a wealth of data about the body.

Apple is likely interested in the sensor technology used in the Beddit device, and has indeed hired medical experts who have worked with ballistocardiography in the past, but the data collected also seems to be of interest due to the company's decision to keep selling the Beddit sensor.

Beddit's technology and data could be used for any number of things, from advancing sleep research for efforts like HealthKit and CareKit to implementing more advanced health-tracking technology and sleep monitoring functionality into the Apple Watch or other future wearable devices.

For the immediate future, it appears Apple will continue to sell the Beddit hardware as part of a standalone brand like Beats, but the company's longer-term plans for Beddit are unknown.


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Apple Acquires ‘Beddit’ iPhone-Connected Sleep Monitoring System

Apple recently acquired Beddit Sleep Monitor, an app and sleep system designed to monitor daily sleep habits through the iPhone, according to an updated privacy policy posted both on the Beddit website and in the Beddit app when creating an account. A link within the app also directs to the Apple Privacy Policy.

As of May 8, the Beddit privacy policy says the following:
Beddit has been acquired by Apple. Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy.
The Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor, which can be purchased from Apple for $150, is a thin, flexible sensor that's designed to be placed under the sheet on the top of a mattress. It collects and analyzes sleep-related data like sleep time and efficiency, heart rate, respiration, movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity.

All of the data collected by the Beddit Sleep Monitor is then made available to iPhone users through an accompanying Beddit iPhone app, which provides "personalized insights" and "customizable sleep coaching" to help users improve their sleep habits.


According to the Beddit website, the device uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to measure the mechanical activity of the heart, lungs, and other body functions. When the heart beats, for example, the Beddit sensor can measure the mechanical impulse generated by the acceleration of the blood through the circulatory system.

Based on the changes to the Beddit privacy policy, it appears Apple may have plans to continue selling the device and collecting health-related data from it, which could potentially be used to enhance future versions of products like the Apple Watch.


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