Sleep insufficiency hasn’t gone away, no matter how much we write about it. We’ve covered Health Tech that purports to help with sleep by controlling brainwaves, with smart earplugs, by cutting down on social media use, by reducing blue light exposure, with headbands, and a host of other solutions. Now there’s a watch that sounds like it could be helpful to at least some of the one in four Americans with sleep difficulties.
Avantechs Inc.’s, Sleepman multifunction smartwatch uses an electro-dermal activity (EDA) sensor that tracks brainwave activity to monitor sleep stages and drowsiness. The Sleepman pairs with a smartphone for some of its applications and works independently for others. The company claims Sleepman optimizes sleep with a smart alarm, power nap feature, a sleep-enhancing accessory, and an interactive game PC, Mac, iOS, and Android game called InsomniZap.
The smart alarm adjusts your wake-up time based on sleep cycles and will not sound when you’re in deep sleep. You may be awakened earlier than you planned, but the company claims you’ll feel more refreshed than if you were aroused during deep sleep. The power nap feature won’t let you sleep too long (more than 20-30 minutes) or go into deep sleep. Again by avoiding deep sleep arousal you should feel more refreshed. The Sleepman Sleep Enhancer accessory is a small external electrode with a sticky gel pad that you plug into your watch and attach to your palm. The device pulses electromagnetic microcurrent intended to promote increased deep sleep.
InsomniZap is intended for children but Advantechs says it will work with anyone who has trouble falling or staying asleep. The interactive game pairs with your Sleepman to monitor your bio-signals while you play an image-led game with a virtual companion. The game helps you relax and fall asleep. The Doze-off Alert can come in handy, and perhaps even save your life, by tracking your wakefulness. With this feature activated, if you begin to slip into a dozy state the watch vibrates, emits an audible signal, and flashes LED lights on the watchband. Drivers and people who operate machinery constitute ideal target markets for the doze alert feature, but it also could potentially benefit anyone who wants to concentrate and stay alert.
An initial Kickstarter campaign was cancelled after exceeding its goal. In an update on the campaign pages, Advantechs stated the number of preorders substantiated the presence of a market demand for the Sleepman. Based on comments received, the company decided to cancel the campaign to consider suggestions and additional feature requests before relaunching the campaign at an unspecified date in the future.