Apple looks into a ‘family sleep monitoring system’ that involves its Beddit purchase

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180028111) for a “family sleep monitoring system,” which would record the sleep parameters of family members by providing third party apps and a peripheral devices communicating with “mobile subscriber terminals” according to the age and interest of each family member. It would involve both iPhones, Macs, and Beddit sleep tracking hardware/software.

In the patent filing, Apple says there’s a need for a system for measuring sleep of all family members, especially of children, by providing customized peripherals and third party applications according to age and interest of each member. Apple’s proposed system would include a “distributed computer system and method that will serve for recording sleep of at least one user using a mobile subscriber terminal and a peripheral device arranged to communicate with the mobile subscriber terminal.” 

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The peripheral devices would be configured to communicate sleep data via an iOS app to the mobile subscriber terminals and further to a data storage application stored on a server computer (a Mac). For a child user the peripheral device and mobile subscriber terminal may be incorporated into a “soft toy,” according to Apple’s plans.

Apple bought Beddit, a sleep tracking hardware and software company, in May 2017. Beddit's $149.95 Sleep Monitor automatically tracks your sleep and works with the Beddit app on your iPhone or iPad to help you achieve better sleep. It’s completely ambient so there's no need to wear or charge it. The thin, flexible, and soft sensor is purportedly unnoticeable when placed under the sheet on top of the mattress. 

It senses and automatically begins tracking when you lie down on the bed—collecting and analyzing sleep-related data such as sleep time and efficiency, heart rate, respiration, temperature, movement, snoring, room temperature, and room humidity. The Beddit app delivers personalized insights and customizable sleep coaching to help you improve your sleep. In addition, the Beddit SmartAlarm is designed to “provide the most accurate method of detecting the optimal time to awaken you from sleep.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.