Now that Silicon Valley has sunk its mind-numbing digital tendrils into nearly every facet of our waking lives, it’s inevitable that Big Tech would soon come after the time we spend asleep, too. High-tech gizmos and wireless whatnots have begun appearing in the bedroom more and more lately, with products ranging from smart wearables which monitor your sleep health to cuddly little robots that soothe you to sleep with their mechanical breathing and simulated snoring sounds. Just this week, the trend of high-tech sleep products continued as one of the most popular wearable devices, the Apple Watch, just got a new version of the popular iOS sleep tracker AutoSleep which represents a new step in sleep tracking wearables.
Unlike previous versions and other wearables, the new AutoSleep 5 for Apple Watch is now able to track users’ sleep data without the need for a companion iPhone app. With just the Apple Watch, users can monitor several indicators of sleep health automatically each night and track and view their sleep data stats over time right in the Apple Watch app. The app even has a feature called “Lights Off” which allows users to track how much time they have spent lying in bed before falling asleep and changes the display to “muted colors for nighttime viewing.” I don’t know about you, but lying in bed staring at my dumb smart watch sounds like the last thing I would need if I couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe I’m just not AutoSleep’s target demographic.
AutoSleep also updated their app for iPhone X to include new interface and display options. While I’m sure these products help some individuals, I can’t help but wonder where all this is going. Will we all soon become reliant on technology to help us sleep? In some ways, we already are: the bed, while not an advanced form, is still a type of technology. Think of how many people need a fan or other white noise to sleep. Is reliance on technology a bad thing? Maybe not in itself, but call me old-fashioned: something about having so many internet-capable devices with microphones and cameras in the bedroom is just a little creepy for me.