All the rumors had it that the new Apple Watch Series 5 would have a sleep monitoring function, but yesterday’s announcement included no such feature. So what happened?
Eric Cohen, senior vice president of Consumer Business at Cambridge Consultants, offers some clues:
“Apple knows that monitoring sleep, heart rate variability, and stress are key to understanding human function. If you can get that combination right, you can improve mental and physical performance dramatically. The problem is that multiple startups have already come and gone that took a gamble on our willingness to wear awkward devices in bed. Users don’t like wearing devices to their most sacred space, the bedroom, and there’s anecdotal evidence that many Apple Watch users remove the device at night, even if only to charge the battery.
I’m sure that Apple could get the tech right, but perhaps they’ve already seen where sleep monitoring is headed: “contactless” sleep monitoring (nothing worn on the body) will allow users all the benefits of technology, without interrupting our normal lifestyles by worrying about charging and the nuisance of wearing devices while sleeping. Contactless sleep monitoring works by using various remotely mounted sensors, which could be cameras, radio frequency sensors, etc. that can detect physiological parameters, such as heart rate and respiration.
This will be tomorrow’s state of the art for effective sleep monitoring. While the Apple Watch Series 5 may be missing great sleep tracking features, consumers will soon be wearing nothing at all.”