Tech to help you sleep better has been around for years. And a recent boom is resulting in more people putting faith in questionable science. This is why Philips coming out with sleep technology is a very good thing for the industry.
Philips isn’t just a brand that makes shavers, they’re actually one of the world’s top health care solutions providers. They are in the worlds top hospitals with one of the most extensive product lines of any company in the patient monitoring market with fetal & neonatal monitoring and they even have a strong presence in telemetry and telehealth.
At IFA Global Press Conference (GPC) they showed off a consumer-focused product aimed at sleep, a “Snoring relief band”. The anti-snore belt aims to help the 40 percent of men and 24% of women who suffer from snoring. The band works via “non-invasive positional therapy”, using small sensors which monitors sleep position and notifies the wearer with gentle vibrations if they roll over onto their backs during the night, (one of the major causes of snoring).
Unlike straps that claim to keep your nasal passages more open or bizarre headgear, the snoring relief band takes a more straightforward approach. People typically snore when they’re lying on their front or back, but not when they’re on their side.
So, Philips’ band basically tracks when you’re lying on your back, and encourages you to shift to your side. To do that, it promises to gently vibrate. Not enough to actually wake you up, but just enough of a disturbance to get you to change position. The band will automatically adjust both patterns and intensity of the vibrations so that they stay effective and you don’t subconsciously learn to ignore them. Machine learning in the background tracks sleep habits to pinpoint the best moment for the band to give you a nudge.
It’s a similar strategy to the micro-changes Philips’ Somneo Connected Sleep & Wake-up Light tried to make in the bedroom, but which can cumulatively add up to a big difference in your sleep – and your health.
Philips’s strategy for the consumer starts with healthy habits, they have a toothbrush because oral health is important. Remember people who floss live longer. Snoring is equally as impactful. Snoring can be a strong risk factor for hypertension, for instance, while if left untreated it can eventually lead to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, or OSA. That’s where the walls of the throat narrow during sleep, making it harder to breathe. Over time, OSA can lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack, to atrial fibrillation, and even make it more likely that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes. Stopping snoring isn’t going to instantly prevent all that from happening, but it’s a good first step, and doctors typically look at snoring as an early symptom that there’s something going wrong when you’re in bed.
Philips’ SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band is worn around the chest, like a heart rate monitor. There’s a minimalistic display to show status and things like battery life, and a USB-C port for charging. The sensor unit itself slots into the band, which is resizable to suit different wearers.
Expect the belt to be launched officially at the main IFA event in September along with pricing and availability.
Mobile Geeks was invited to attend IFA GPC, all thoughts and ideas are still our own.