|Developer||Avantechs Inc |
|Announced||May 2016 (NBC4 News Health & Fitness Expo)|
Consumers: December 2016 (for crowdfunding backers)
|Price||250 USD |
|Operating system||none (can connect to PC, Android, iOS)|
heart rate, electrodermal activity, accelerometer, gyroscope 
|Weight||50 g |
buttons, smartphone 
Sleepman is a wristband device that aims to enhance user's quality of sleep and detect drowsiness thanks to built-in heart rate and electrodermal activity sensors. The device tracks the user's sleepy cycles and wakes them up at the desired time when they are in the stage of light sleep. It also helps with short naps by waking the user just before he enters deeper stages of sleep.
A gel pad electrode can be connected to the device. The user then attaches the pad to their palm and the device sends electrical impulses during the night. The company claims this will increase the amount of deep sleep the wearer experiences up to 40% of their total sleep time. Sleepman can also prevent car accidents by detecting early fatigue and drowsiness and alarm the driver to take a rest.
The device can also function as a fitness and wellness tracker when paired with a smartphone with the Sleepman app installed.
Sleepman is a wearable limb-mounted device that is worn on the wrist. The device is standalone but can be paired with a smartphone or a personal computer via Bluetooth. It does, however, require these to fully fulfil its functions as the Sleepman app not only acts as a wellness tracker that displays charts for recorded data, but also expands possible features.
The official website advertises 8 distinct features of Sleepman: Bio-Smart Alarm, Power Nap Alarm, Doze-off Alert, Sleep Enhancer, Heart Rhythm Monitor, Sleep and Activity Tracker, Panic Alarm, and InsomniZap.
Bio-Smart alarm monitors user's sleep cycle and tries to wake them up around the time the set the alarm but do it during the light phases of their sleep. This in turn should make them feel well rested. Power Nap Alarm monitors the sleep activity while the user is taking a short nap and tries not to let the user slip into deeper phases of sleep so they do not wake up more tired. Doze-off Alert is designed mainly for drivers. In this mode, the device monitors drowsiness of the user and alarms them when their fatigue increases to avoid a potential microsleep and car accident. Sleep Enhancer uses an additional wired gel electrode that the user adhesively attached to the inside of their palm. The weak electrical current stimulating the palm is advertised to enhance the sleep quality of the wearer. Hear Rhythm Monitor records the heart rate of the user and can warn them in case of arrhythmia or high heart rate. Sleep and Activity Tracker uses all sensors to record and track data about the user's health. It provides information on "sleep patterns, daytime activity and concentration levels" of the user and makes this information available in the Sleepman smartphone/PC app. Panic Alarm is a feature that can be pre-programmed to send an emergency message or dial an emergency number should the user run into an accident. This feature requires pairing up the device with a smartphone. InsomniZap is a computer game that uses the biological feedback recorded by the device to ease the user into sleep. It is mainly focused on children but the company states that all can benefit from it.
The device's outer shell is made from plastic polymer with anti-allergic properties. The device features a coloured LED display of undisclosed properties. The user controls the device by four physical buttons and they can also pair the device with a smartphone or a personal computer. The wristband of the device has RGB LED lights for signalling built-in. The battery of the device is a rechargeable 3.7V battery that is advertised to last from 48 hours up to 1 week of use.
Sleepman aims to enhance the quality of sleep and help against fatigue. It is also an activity tracker that records health data such as the heart rate, movement, and sleep cycle.
Company & People
The device is developed by an American company Avantechs Inc. from Boulder, Colorado. The company was founded in 2008 and describes itself as an multi-disciplinary research and development company.
- Prof. Alex Praskovsky, Ph.D. - Founder
- Dr. Serge Gurland, Ph.D. - Hardware developer
- Dr. Pavel Krapiva, M.D., Ph.D. - Sleep and neurology consultant
- Mike Martin, J.D. - Financial and legal consultant
- Michael Radomyselsky - Senior developer and technical advisor
- Mark Carter - Testing coordinator
- Lin Chu Ming - Manufacturing partner and consultant
- Max Melomed - Software developer
- Andrew Praskovsky - Engineering and design coordinator
- Maxim Kurguzov - Firmware and software developer
- October 2014 - Creation of the first Sleepman prototype
- March 2016 - Device concept introduced at Mid-America Transportation Show
- May 2016 - Prototype introduced at NBC4 New York Health & Fitness Expo
- 21 June 2016 - Beginning of the Kickstarter campaign
Enhancement. - The device is designed to improve user's quality to sleep, help them relax, offer statistics about their health, and act as a safe guard from sleeping while driving.
Ethical & Health Issues
Sleepman uses two metal electrodes for the measurement of skin galvanic response. This method is usually done with the help of gel electrodes to achieve better conductance and lessen measurement error. However the device, with the expection of the adhesive Sleep enhancer attachable palm electrode, do not utilise conductive gel for the electrodes as that would be too uncomfortable for daily usage. It is then probable that the metal electrodes will irritate the skin of the wearer after prolonged usage, similarly to cases with Fitbit or Apple Watch.
Public & Media Impact and Presentation
As of the beginning of August 2016, the Kickstarter campaign is still ongoing and there are no reviews of the device yet. However we noted a number of articles that mention the device and/or the Kickstarter campaign.
Digital Trends technology magazine informs about the then starting Kickstarter campaign and calls the device the "next-generation sleep wearable". The article then goes briefly over the different modes Sleepman features.
PR Newswire featured an article titled "Tired of Being Tired? Take Control of Your Sleep With Sleepman". The article was written by the PR department of Sleepman and describes the device in general terms and also points at the Kickstarter campaign. The article briefly describes the company too.
Sleeptrackers magazine informs about the launch of the Kickstarter campaign and begins the article by describing Sleepman as a "novel, next-generation wearable". The article describes the features of the device in general terms, it does not offer any assessment apart from the introductory paragraph.
Bodyhacks describes Sleeman to be akin to a personal assistant that wakes the user at an ideal time. The author hints subtly at his scepticism to Sleepman being able to measure the "apparent" electro-dermal activity to track sleep phases. The article concludes with hopes for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The website Single Gadget informs about the Kickstarter campaign but also explains the difference between sleep trackers that track movement and Sleepman, that tracks sleep through measurements of electrodermal activity. The article lists and explains all Sleepman's features. It concludes with a link to the Kickstarter campaign.
XGL-Coffee magazine notices the start of the crowdfunding campaign. It highlights the electrodermal activity sensor feature and subsequently names some other features as well.
In a short article, Gadgetify describes Sleepman in general terms and concludes with the mention of the Kickstarter campaign.
We are not aware of any policy that is regulating or is otherwise relevant to this device in particular.
Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research
Avantechs supports Sleepman with a body of evidence on the benefits of sleep and averse effects induced by the lack of thereof. The official website describes these discusses these effects and describes how the device may help. The different phases of sleep are especially discussed.
Second part of the article about science behind Sleepman discusses the viability of electrodermal activity (EDA) sensing for measuring quality of sleep and why the company decided to use it over electroencephalography. Sleepman uses EDA sensors because Avantechs deemed electroencephalography to be too unwieldy and uncomfortable for nightly and daily use.
Electrodermal activity, also referred to as galvanic skin response or skin conductance, is a measure of autonomic changes in the electrical properties of the skin in response to sweat secretion. It has been used in the research on stress, anxiety levels, and emotional arousal. Studies shown that the link between EDA and different cognitive states can indeed be used to measure them.
The device, however, will not achieve precise measurements because EDA measurements are prone to contain artefacts caused by body movement, ambient temperature, and skin resistance.
The article concludes with describing the benefits of 'power napping' and the scientific research about it.