Skip to main content

This ‘smart pillow’ uses low-frequency sound waves to help you sleep better

Chrona - Sleep Smarter not Longer
Ever used a sleep tracker before? The idea is pretty straightforward. By using sensors to collect data on your sleeping patterns, you can begin to pinpoint things that might be affecting the quality of your rest. Then, armed with this knowledge, you can make little lifestyle adjustments to improve your sleep, and wake up feeling more energized and alert.

While that technology has benefited many, St. Louis-based startup Ultradia thinks it has a better approach. Rather than merely tracking your sleeping habits and putting the onus on you to optimize them, the company has created a clever new device called Chrona that does all the optimization for you. In addition to tracking your sleep patterns, Chrona uses a novel application of technology to boost the quality of your sleep — no lifestyle changes required.

Here’s the theory behind the device. Like Fitbit and other wearable trackers, Chrona tracks sleep based on motion. But instead of being attached to your wrist, Chrona is placed in your pillowcase, where it measures the movements of your head and torso. Based on these movements, it can reliably tell where you are in your sleep cycle.

chronaWhen Chrona detects that you’re in a deep sleep, it uses a set of small speakers to send out low-frequency sound waves. Apparently, these waves complement and enhance those created by your brain. Sounds in this delta-frequency range synchronize and enhance deep sleep, which studies have shown to be beneficial for memory and cognition.

As rosy-fingered dawn approaches, Chrona can switch to playing higher-frequency sounds to help you enter a lighter state of sleep before your alarm plays in the morning. When you’re relaxed with your eyes closed, your brain expresses its highest activity in the alpha-frequency range (such as during meditation). Chrona’s “Perfect Wake-Up” feature uses sound in that same frequency range to prepare your mind to wake up.

It sounds crazy, but apparently all of this is backed up by legitimate research. It is indeed possible to increase the magnitude of the brainwaves produced during deep sleep (slow wave sleep) through acoustic stimulation.

Ultradia has produced a handful of working prototypes, and has recently turned to Kickstarter to bring Chrona to production. If you back the project now, you can lock down one of the first models for a pledge of 100 bucks. If the project meets its funding goal and everything goes smoothly, Ultradia expects to begin shipping sometime around December.

Editors' Recommendations

Drew Prindle
Senior Editor, Features
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
Orro’s smart switch lighting adjusts to your rhythms to help you sleep better
orro switch smart lightning help you sleep woodforward

The term "smart lighting" is bandied about frequently to attract people who want to control the lights in their homes by means other than flipping manual switches. Most smart lights connect to home Wi-Fi networks, either directly or via hubs, after which owners can control and manage the lights with mobile apps or, increasingly, with voice commands issued to Amazon Echo or Google Home devices.

Read more
Casper’s Glow smart light is designed to help you sleep more soundly
casper glow sleep light 3



Read more
Muse’s Softband will help you meditate your way into a good night’s sleep
muse softband ces 2019

Muse Softband

Muse, maker of meditation headbands, has unveiled the third iteration of its device (and first soft headband) at CES 2019.

Read more