Apple acquired Beddit, a developer behind a sleep tracking app back in 2017. Apple continues to sell the branded product for $150 on its website. The app was actually updated last December. Beddit’s original patent for their product was covered in an IP report we posted back in October 2017.
One of Apple’s patent figures from that invention is shown below in patent FIG. 5C which illustrates a top view of an exemplary monitoring system including multiple sections. You could see the outline of two people lying in bed on top of a mat with electrodes.
A second patent related to monitoring sleep activity surfaced in late December 2018. Apple’s invention covers a sleep monitoring system which includes “smart bedding” that analyzes a user’s vital signs and even includes an camera.
It’s clear that Apple has been working on this health niche of technology for some time now and even Samsung is now beginning to get on this as we noted in a September 2018 report.
So it’s no surprise to learn today that Apple is reportedly “testing a sleep monitor for a future version of its smartwatch, a feature that would bolster the company in the health- and fitness-tracking market,” reports Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.
The report further notes that “The company has been using the sleep-tracking feature for several months with testers at secret sites around its Cupertino, California, headquarters, according to people familiar with the work. If the functionality is successful in the testing stages, the company plans to add it to the Apple Watch by 2020, according to one of the people.
Sleep tracking on the Apple Watch would reduce a competitive advantage that longtime fitness-wearable developer Fitbit has had on the market. Besides Fitbit, Withings, formally known as Nokia Health, also makes sleep-tracking gadgets. For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report here.
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