Sleep-bragging is the preserve of the ultra–powerful – no wonder Apple is cashing in

As quietly as a snoozing kitten, Apple acquired a sleep tracking company on May 8, 2017. According to a report from MacRumors, Beddit Sleep Monitor updated its privacy policy that day to announce the acquisition and potential changes in how users’ personal data will be collected, used, and disclosed. It’s an interesting purchase, given the attention Cupertino has recently given to our sleep habits.

Sleep as a Matter of Health

Sleep as a Matter of Health

With iOS 10, Apple Health made forays into sleep tracking and helping us maintain healthier nighttime routines. The new “Bedtime” feature in the Clock app encourages consistent routines at night. At the same time, the new Sleep section within the Apple Health app allows apps and devices to help monitor how well we slumber.

Beddit produces one such device and app. The software pairs with a thin, flexible sensor placed under the sheet and on top of a mattress. It collects data on how long you sleep, your heart rate, breathing, movement, snoring, room temperature, and humidity. The accessory provides that information to the Beddit iPhone app, which in turn provides sleep coaching and data to Apple Health.

Covering More of the Apple Health Bases

Covering More of the Apple Health Bases

Right now, Apple Watch lacks its own app for the Sleep portion of Apple Health’s four main categories. Activity is covered with the watchOS app of the same name. For Mindfulness, we have the Breathe app on our Apple Watch. It seems like Cupertino could easily roll out sleep tracking to watchOS courtesy of the Beddit acquisition.

One of Beddit’s selling points is being able to track your sleep without having to wear anything. All Beddit’s watchOS app does is allow you to view your sleep scores from the app. This is in contrast with other sleep apps, such as Pillow, which utilize Apple Watch as an additional point of data – in the case of Pillow, making use of the wearable device’s heart rate and gyroscopic sensors to track movement and pulse during sleep.

It might not mean anything, but I think this purchase is proof of how seriously Cupertino is taking our sleep health. It’s worth noting that the Beddit Sleep Monitor is sold through the Apple Store. Beddit also has a watchOS companion app, but the page promoting that feature has been taken down. As late as May 4, the Apple Watch app page for Beddit was alive and well. It appears that the page was removed after Apple purchased the sleep tracking company.

What Does the Acquisition Mean?

What Does the Acquisition Mean?

I believe Apple’s acquisition of Beddit foretells a new direction for the wearable device. The Beddit Sleep Monitor accessory isn’t really needed, if Cupertino rolls support for its functionality into the Apple Watch. The wearable device can track heart rate and movement much more accurately than a device slid between the sheets. That data can then be fed into Apple Health, much like the Breathe app encourages healthy meditation and shares

Perhaps Beddit’s “claim to fame” as being able to track your sleep without wearing a device will change, and Cupertino will make use of the sensors within the Apple Watch during your slumber. The wearable device would then have built-in apps for three of the four main sections of Apple Health, with only nutrition left to cover.


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