It’s easy to dismiss a small electronic ball on your bedside that helps you get better sleep as trivial technology, but when you consider how sleep seriously affects every part of your life it’s easier to see how needle-shifting it is. Your work, your stress levels, how safe you are driving, I could go on and on.
It’s no wonder therefore that in just two days of being listed on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, Sense got more than half a million dollars. $566,748 at this very moment, but it’s changing every other minute. It’s well beyond their $100,000 fundraising target. And it’s not just a few strong backers, Sense is backed by some 4,493 people so far.
In the simplest of terms, Sense helps people improve their sleep by monitoring the sleeping environment. Using a ball-like device, a small Sleep Pill device that’s attached to a pillow and a mobile app, Sense tracks how well a person sleeps, wakes them at the most optimum time, and provides data on how well they slept. If they wish to, the owner of the data, can use other apps (Sense allows API integration) to manipulate the data (and the sense itself actually) in many other ways. Novel and limitless in possibilities!
Surprising? Hardly really when you consider the size of the sleep problem, and how Hello is focused on it in a way that’s clearly way above what’s currently available. Hello are not the first to monitor rooms in houses. There’s CubeSensors, a company that makes devices that monitors rooms (at home and in the office) to make them healthier, but from what we see it doesn’t come close to the focus on sleep that Sense has.
It’s also not surprising when you look at the team and how much progress they have made already. The startup behind the gadget, called Hello, has a team of engineers and designers who have worked for companies like Apple and Fitbit. And delivering on Sense is beyond doubt not just because of the team, but they have made significant progress already.
In fact, the Kickstarter project is not for the money. The startup raised $10.5 million in January this year. Without explicitly talking about the money issue, Hello does say in the Kickstarter campaign that they used the platform more to learn from the community what their patterns are, what affects their sleep, what they care about so that Hello can build the best possible product.
Personally I’m looking forward to all the data Sense collects about how I sleep (and maybe anonymously everyone else as well) and using that to help us all sleep optimally. For example if, based on this global data, and your historical sleeping data, all the sleep you need at a particular moment is just 45 minutes then it gives you just that.