Automation is making smartphones more important

From smart homes to supermarkets, smartphones are the central hub to our digital lives.

August 08, 2017

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From smart homes to supermarkets, smartphones are the central hub to our digital lives.

(Source: Moby Mart)

Questions are being raised about the efficacy of sleep trackers, but wearables makers say consumers expect too much. Some products might over promise, though. An article from the Financial Times highlights the Circadian Sleep System, a device that hangs above a bed and monitors sleep patterns without touching the user by monitoring breathing and movement. The product is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, where bold product ideas sometimes don't pan out. Some wearable makers were quick to pin the blame on consumers.

Frederik Hermann, the US head of marketing at Mi Band-maker Huami, was one person who spoke with FT. “I think there is an expectation gap,” he said. “Consumers simply expect too much from any of these trackers.”

It's widely known that modern fitness trackers such as smart watches and smart bands are not the most accurate devices. The most important aspect is consistency and tracking improvement over time. How that plays into sleep tracking can be difficult to manage since some wearables promise to set an alarm based on sleep patterns, waking users up at just the right moment.

Fitbit devices have this and other sleep tracking functions. The company pointed out the importance of sleep tracking in wearables. ConorHeneghan, lead sleep research scientist at Fitbit, told FT that sleep tracking is "definitely in the top two or three things that people really value about using Fitbit." As a critical feature, ensuring sleep tracking is at least useful for people is important.

If Fitbit is right, though, improving sleep tracking is important to wearables makers. They might also be surprised that consumers know these devices are far from perfect. That doesn't keep them from being useful, though. Improving the usefulness of sleep tracking could provide a key competitive advantage in wearables.

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