I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ohad Nezer, co-founder of Sleepra, to ask him some questions about Sleepra. Sleepra is not yet available on the market. They have prototypes designed and will soon be looking for funding via Indiegogo. Before the Q&A let’s catch about what Sleepra actually claims to be able to do…
What is Sleepra?
Sleepra is a pad that sits under your sheets, plugs into the a wall socket, and contains a variety of sensors. These sensors not only monitor your sleep quality but also allows you to perform gestures to interact with other devices. From their website:
From the comfort of your bed, touch, tap, or swipe a gesture anywhere on your mattress to snooze an alarm, listen to music, turn on a lamp, adjust your bedroom’s temperature, and much more. Sleepra enables users to create new gestures to interact with an ever-growing array of smart home devices by integrating with various smart home APIs.
Sleepra is a full-fledged sleep monitor, offering more in-depth analysis and feedback than regular fitness trackers, and doesn’t require wearing a device. It’s built-in sensors automatically detect and track heart rate, breathing patterns, and quality of sleep. All this data syncs to the mobile app where suggestions to improve sleep are provided, and Sleepra can share its data with other fitness devices and software that provide APIs.
Sleepra also has a built-in silent alarm to gently alert you if you start snoring so your spouse doesn’t need to elbow you at 3am. The silent alarm can also wake you up during the light phase of your sleep cycle so you feel refreshed in the morning.
Some other details from their FAQ, Sleepra does not require a smartphone but will be designed for Android and iOS. In order to control the lights, burglar alarm, your smartphone alarm clock, and other smart home devices you will need to first perform a “pre-gesture” before performing the actual gesture that activates your lights, snoozes your alarm etc. This pre-gesture will hopefully reduce or eliminate the chances of a false positive from flailing about in your bed at night, dogs thinking they deserve a comfier sleeping arrangement, or hyperactive kids.
Sleepra will be able to monitor your sleep and attempt to wake you during the lightest part of your sleep cycle. The Sleepra pad has a vibration motor that will wake you up or it can interact with your phone’s alarm clock.
With the opportunity to speak with the founders, I decided to ask some questions not covered in their FAQ:
The Interview with Ohad Nezer
What is working at the prototype level right now?
We have a working prototype that tracks biometrics (heartrate & breathing) and can recognize gesture patterns to trigger API calls to smarthome devices. We are working on refining some of the gesture interpretation algorithms, and are working on GUI interface via iOS and Android apps.
Has the app started development?
We are starting to build out the Android version of the app. The iOS version will have a similar UI, but we have not yet started development on iOS. We are actually developing the Android application first, but hope to have both deployed in time for launch.
Is the coding done in-house?
The software architecture and UI is being developed in house, but we have contracted out PCB schematics, API integration, and sensor algorithm optimization.
Any idea on energy usage? Does it auto-shutoff or run constantly?
The Sleepra is a low-voltage product with no energy-draining display interfaces or heating elements, and with an even lower power draw on standby. In this mode, the Sleepra periodically checks for motion activity to indicate presence of a body movement/biometrics, and actively listens only for a pre-gesture which requires no network communication. The Sleepra wakes up from Stand-by mode if it receives a specific “pre-gesture”, or detects biometrics (body motion/breathing/heartrate). This allows the Sleepra to draw less power when there is no person laying in proximity. The energy draw of active gesture listening is limited. It is in “receiving mode” for a gesture for a period of only10 seconds following the pre-gesture.
Will you will be integrating with the Smarthome API’s or will it be up to those companies to integrate with you?
We will connect with various open APIs, such as those available for Wemo, and IFTTT. We will also provide an open platform for manufacturers to integrate their technologies with the sleepra.
How water resistant is it? Will bed-wetting potentially ruin the device?
Sleepra is water-resistant enough to function properly if a tall glass of water is poured anywhere over the pad. However, the product cannot withstand immersion in water. A water repelling sleeve will be offered after-market.
Has it been tested for durability (kids jumping on bed sort of scenarios)?
Durability testing thus-far has not included kid-jumping-on-bed type scenarios. Our testing has included repeated folding and bending, and we will certainly run as many use-case scenarios on Sleepra as possible including impact testing, cable flex and stretching, circuit board housing impact and pressure tests, and so forth.
Any plans to expand the team? It seems like an awfully large project for a team of two especially with the app development.
We absolutely plant to grow our team, and our corporation has a sizable option pool set aside specifically for strategic growth of our team. We are also in a regional accelerator (SeedSumo) with established relationships in hardware manufacturing, and software development. More information about our recent acceptance into the accelerator is available below:
Do you have any active sleep research going on with the Sleepra? If not, any plans to?
We absolutely plan to consult with A&M university faculty specializing in neurological science and biological rhythms as we build out our biometric analysis software. Our goal is to provide actionable advice tailored to a users’ sleep habits so they can proactively improve their sleep. We believe that refining the reliability of biometric sensors is our highest impact priority and precedes the step of optimizing sleep analysis.
As mentioned before, Sleepra is not yet available. They will be launching an Indiegogo campaign sometime this summer so make sure to keep a look out for it.
It looks like a very cool device if it can keep up with all the claims. If Sleepra only does sleep monitoring but does it well it will be a great product. I personally hope they focus on the sleep tracking and “natural waking” features first before trying to tackle the massive task to integrate with smart home devices. I’ve tried apps like Sleep as Android but my results seemed inaccurate at best. I also don’t like the idea of sleeping with my phone on my bed. I prefer it sitting on the wireless charger on my nightstand.
I understand the appeal of controlling your home and phone from bed, but smart homes are still a couple years from hitting mainstream (hopefully the Google I/O announcement yesterday will kickstart things). Sleepra will also hopefully adapt the Brillo and Weave to standardize the protocol for how these smart home devices interact
I was not able to obtain any pricing, so we’ll have to wait for the Indiegogo campaign launch.