‘Smart bed’ lets you sleep better, and makes coffee, too

myEarlySense, the consumer-oriented adaptation of a medical device, gives beds their first upgrade in thousands of years

An EarlySense system in action (Courtesy)
An EarlySense system in action (Courtesy)

Beds, which have more or less remained unchanged for thousands of years, are getting a smart upgrade.

Israeli medical device and Internet of Things start-up EarlySense is introducing this week its “smart bed” solution that records data on how an individual is sleeping, how often they toss, turn, wake up, and fall back asleep, breathing and heart rates, and more.

The myEarlySense monitor integrates with other smart systems. It can turn heaters on and off when a user is under the covers, turn on the automatic coffee machine and brew a cup of coffee a few minutes before the alarm goes off, and turn off the home alarm when an individual gets out of bed.

While sleep monitors are nothing new, all of them require attachment to an individual in order to measure their sleep – and none has been able to upload data to a smart home server for use in other systems. MyEarlySense goes under the mattress, and is chock full of sensors that can detect all the data needed to turn an ordinary bed into a smart one.

In business since 2004, EarlySense developed a system that monitors patients who are sick enough to require continuous tracking but are unwilling to or do not need to be connected physically to monitors and sensors. Designed for use in non-emergency room or even home settings, the system uses sensors embedded into a mattress or chair cushion to monitor heartbeat, respiration rate, and movement – the theory being that the more a patient moves around in bed, the healthier they are, in general.

The data is transferred to a monitoring station, either local or remote, with the system setting off alarms in the event that something appears amiss. It is in use in thousands of hospitals, nursing homes and home settings around the world, and according to hospital studies, over 90% of staff said that the system was useful in stemming and preventing patient deterioration.

In January, Korean tech giant Samsung invested $10 million in EarlySense, providing the company with funds to develop its IoT solution, which is being presented at this week’s IFA event taking place in Berlin.

“Building upon the success of our contact-free monitoring solution in the hospital setting, our core technology can make a similar impact for consumers who want key information on their overall wellness,” said Liat Tsoref, VP & GM of the Digital Health Business Unit of EarlySense. “myEarlySense is the next logical step after wearables – which we call ‘invisibles.’ We are proud to offer an extremely accurate, contact-free device to manage personal wellness and sleep patterns. Our solution can benefit everyone in taking better care of themselves and their loved ones.”

For Samsung, the investment in EarlySense is about far more than healthcare. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in January, Yoon Boo-keun, head of Samsung Electronics’ consumer products unit, said that the company was planning to more aggressively develop technology for Internet of Things – and during his speech, specifically named EarlySense’s technology as one the company would be able to deploy for IoT products.

IoT, said Yoon, “is a source of infinite potential that can enrich livelihoods and protect people depending on their needs and situations, further changing society and the economy.” Calling EarlySense’s technology “revolutionary,” Yoon added that Samsung’s Iot products “will contribute to solving humanity’s issues by expanding the scope of connection from home and cities, and to the globe.”

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