American mattress maker Sleep Number is known for its innovative, high-tech sleep products. Sleep Number, formerly known as Select Comfort, released the world’s first adjustable mattresses over thirty years ago. Those mattresses ushered in a new era of innovation in the mattress world, leading to the many types of adjustable and customizable beds we have today. Not known for resting on their laurels, Sleep Number has now unveiled its newest mattress creation which it claims is the “future of health and wellness.” The new mattress, called the Sleep Number 360, is being called the world’s first “smart” bed. Is this really what we need in our bedrooms?
While sleep monitoring systems are nothing new, this is one of the first to be integrated directly into a mattress straight from the factory. The Sleep Number 360 comes with many of today’s most state-of-the-art sleep sensors built right in which can monitor heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rate while users sleep. This “SleepIQ technology platform,” as Sleep Number calls it, is designed to identify and detect potentially life-threatening complications like sleep apnea or heart attacks. Shelly Ibach, Sleep Number president and CEO, says in a press release that the Sleep Number 360 won’t just give users a good night’s sleep, but help them be healthier overall:
We envision a future where higher quality sleep transforms consumers’ health and wellness. Sleep Number’s 360 smart bed’s robust SleepIQ technology platform integrates sleep science, sophisticated biometrics and artificial intelligence to provide consumers with effortless adjustability and tangible improvements to their health.
That sounds great and all, but in the press release it’s also stated that the mattress can share users’ health data with their doctors. Of course, that means the data could just as easily be shared with anyone else. Do you want your employer knowing what you do at night?
Each week a new host of weird new high-tech sleep products are announced, and each week I just have to wonder: do sleep and technology go together? Should sleep and technology go together? At some point, all of these biometrics and data have to stop being useful and start adding anxiety to the nightly struggles of individuals with sleep complications. Do you really want to know how badly you’re sleeping each night? Will knowing really make you want to crawl into bed, or avoid it?