Even if you’re not an exercise fiend, you may still want a wearable to track your sleep patterns and inform you when you didn’t get a good night’s rest (just in case the under-eye bags and unquenchable thirst for coffee weren’t good enough clues). But it can be hard to find a time to charge these trackers. You want them on during the day to count your steps and at night to monitor your midnight movements.
Quite a few new sleep devices are coming to the market that don’t require you slip anything onto your wrist. One we saw at CES takes the onus off the sleeper and transfers it your bed. It’s a washable, Wi-Fi-connected mattress pad that heats your bed to your desired temperature and syncs with your other smart devices to shut the house down for the night right when you get into bed. Unlike something like the Sleep Number X12, which requires an $8,000 upgrade, the Luna smart mattress cover slips over your existing mattress.
“Everything started because I was having problems [getting] to sleep,” says Matteo Franceschetti, co-founder of Luna. He and his partner, Massimo Andreasi Bassi, wanted something that would work with people’s existing beds.
First and foremost, the Luna functions as heating pad. It’s dual-zone, meaning you can crank it up to 83 degrees Fahrenheit, while your bedmate stays 10 degrees cooler. But it’s not like a traditional heating pad, Bassi insists. Once the bed gets up to your preferred temperature —which it learns over time, like the smart thermostat Nest— the bed is basically self-sustaining at that temperature. “It’s off 95 percent of the time,” says Bassi, only delivering a few bursts of heat throughout the night to keep your toes toasty and using only a low voltage to do so.
Through their testing process, Bassi and Franceschetti learned that most people don’t want to be overly warm at night; the “hot spots,” placed near the feet and lower back, can be shifted a bit and really only warm compared to the rest of the bed. The pad isn’t meant to feel hot to the touch; it’s just supposed to make the bed not cold.
The Luna’s ability to learn is only one feature of the pad, though. It tracks your sleep with accelerometers, a snoring-sensitive microphone, and sensors that to measure breath frequency and heart rate. Right now, Luna is partnered with Lockitron, Beep, Emberlight, and Nest, so when you get into bed, the pad will sync with your smart door lock, lights, and thermostat to secure the house and get it ready for the night.
That’s just the beginning, though. Bassi wants the Luna to integrate even more fully with your home and health. If you sleep better one night, for example, it might figure out that working out at a particular time had a positive impact. Because the Luna can figure out exactly when you enter different phases of sleep, it should eventually be able to pause your Netflix stream right when you fall asleep.
That ability of Luna’s, to sense your sleep cycle, is intriguing to a lot of people, and Bassi hopes users and third-party developers will come with interesting uses for it. In fact, a friend of his already has. “He built a prototype app to have his phone play a voice when he hits REM phase,” says Bassi. “So, this voices that says, ‘You’re sleeping’ when he hits that phase, and he says it helps him achieve lucid dreams.”
Of course, the bed is a pretty personal space, and all this data is going somewhere. In fact, Bassi says sleep scientists at New York University and Stanford are interested in working with the Luna team. They’re interested in getting sleep data on a regular basis from people going about their normal routines — and less normal routines. If you normally wear a sleep tracker but come home drunk and forget to put it on before passing out, that’s an interesting night of information lost to researchers. Not so with a smart mattress pad.
Still, Bassi insists users will have control over their data, especially what’s released to third-party developers. He says the sleep scientists are interested in your sleep cycles and only your sleep cycles. Your other nocturnal (or Sunday morning, whatever) activities? The Luna may capture your movement, heart rate, and other data for that, but it shouldn’t transmit it, because you’re not actually asleep.
At CES, Bassi said a queen-sized mattress pad will retail for $249; it will be $279 for the king; he anticipates that during a crowdfunding campaign, they’ll have 500 early birds priced at $179.