Google’s Radar Sleep Tracker
2nd Generation Nest Hub tracks your sleep without the need for wearing a watch
The 2nd generation Nest Hub is a new offering from Google that enables control over smart devices, entertainment and connectivity in your home.
This new smart home ‘must-have’ incorporates all the features you’d expect – alarm clock, smart display, apps, voice activation – and some features you might not: you can control the Nest Hub using (contactless) hand gestures and it can monitor your sleep without you needing to wear any physical tracking devices.
The Nest Hub’s creators have put their Soli radar sensor technology to use for sleep surveillance in a confident leap towards less intrusive assistive technology. While Google is well-established in the wearables market for monitoring sleep as part of their health and wellness product offering Google Fit, this is the first time motion sensors and AI have been employed to record and deliver sleep stats.
Quality of sleep, duration of rest and sleeping patterns are the main focus of the Sleep Sensing technology, where low-energy radar, microphones and AI are combined to track, record and analyse the user’s shut-eye. Taking it one step further, the user will then be offered personalised suggestions for how to improve their Z’s based on guidelines and research from respected health organisations.
From a more practical sense, not everyone likes to wear a watch or wrist-band at night to track their sleep; not everyone is physically able to. Utilising motion sensors, radar and audio recordings offers an accessible solution for all users, providing an inclusive and subtle wellness tracker.
In the same vein, the now universal operating methods of touch screen and voice control cover a large percentage of assistive technology users’ capabilities, but they fail to provide a solution for every user. That’s why the contactless gesture control function found in the Nest Hub is another string to the bow of Google’s latest product.
How will this affect the future of assistive technology?
Sleep is of great interest to many of us, but the technology behind the Sleep Sensing feature opens up discussion in the assistive technology (AT) arena. The future of better healthcare is unobtrusive health monitoring technology that can monitor patterns, recognise anomalies and alert healthcare providers from the comfort of our own homes or our residential care settings.