Apple moves into sleep monitoring with purchase of Beddit

Sleep tracking is growing in popularity, thanks in part to the rise of fitness trackers and a larger kickback against burnout culture. This year’s CES saw the launch of the tradeshow’s debut Sleep Tech Marketplace, with a plethora of silent alarms and smart beds on show.

Now, Apple looks to be staking a claim in sleep tracking. The tech company has acquired Finnish startup Beddit, which makes both hardware and apps for monitoring nighttime rhythms. As noted by CNBC, the terms of the deal aren’t clear, but Beddit has updated its privacy policy to let users know their personal data will now be “collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy”. Apple knows how you sleep, as it were.

Beddit’s newest piece of kit is the Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor, a thin strip that’s designed to lie under bedsheets and measure how much you thrash around at night. It’s currently being sold on Apple’s store for $149 (£115), where it pitches as an ambient tracker for a range of sleep stats, meaning there’s no need to wear a wristwatch or actively turn it on each night.

Exactly what Apple will do with Beddit remains to be seen. It could be that Apple simply wants to poach some of Beddit’s engineers, or it could look at integrating some of Beddit’s software into its own hardware. Bloomberg reported last year that the company was planning to add sleep tracking to the Apple Watch, which would seem like a logical focus for Beddit’s toolset. Another option is that Apple also plans to make use of Beddit’s hardware, although the strapless sleep tracker seems somewhat at odds with the company’s efforts around the Apple Watch.  

Whatever the case, sleep tracking is a sensible area for Apple to move into. Given the general exhaustion around 24-hour social-media streams and increasingly pressurised work environments, there’s a vogue for technology that offers a solution to smartphone-induced insomnia.

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