Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hello Sense sleep tracker from Kickstarter

I backed the Kickstarter project Hello Sense last year and finally received it earlier this May. I have been using it for a few weeks now. So what is it and what does it do?

There are two main components, the Sense and the pill. The sense is the round device that you place on your night stand which has sensors to detect light, sound, humidity, temperature, and air quality (AQI). The pill is the white round clip that attaches to your pillow to track your movement. With this combination, Sense is able to detect if your room is ready for you to sleep. If you tap or wave your hand over Sense it will glow green to tell you the environment is in the right condition for you to sleep based on the researched optimal levels from its sensors.

In the picture above you can see the pill clipped to my pillow, my black Sense, and my white air humidifier. The adjacent picture shows how the Sense glows green as described previously.

You need a smartphone in order to be able to access the device and read the data. You cannot access it any other way. The app does communicate with the Apple Health framework, but there is no other third party support like IFTTT available yet.

The sleep tracking is very accurate. It detects when I fall asleep, when I twist and turn while sleeping, when I would wake up in the middle of the night, and when I would wake up in the morning. Unfortunately it has trouble correctly detecting when I get out of bed and I have to manually adjust that time. Also, my Sense seems to require calibration on the light sensor because it always thinks it is 0lx light intensity when it should be much more. I was hoping I could find out if the sun getting up early in the summer was waking me up, but for now I cannot.

I have trouble sleeping and I was hoping to find out what could be the cause of waking up too early, like the sun, maybe a loud neighbor who wakes up early, or possibly I could be snoring some nights.

The app is still early in it's development and is missing many features that were promised in the Kickstarter. The app is suppose to tell you what could of caused you waking up at night and play back any sounds if that was the cause. It is also suppose to give you more detail about the air quality, but currently it just reports for the night before with statements such as "normal" or "moderately high." One good thing is knowing that since Sense reports my air quality as not being optimal, I will purchase an air purifier and see if that helps me sleep.

Overall, I have found the Hello Sense sleep tracker to be a worthy investment to help me learn more about my sleeping patterns and ways in which I could improve my sleep. Sleeping is very important and making investments into your sleep is something that can be very beneficial for your health, both mentally and physically. No matter if it is with this Hello Sense sleep tracker, a Fitbit or Jawbone with sleep tracking, or any other gadget you may purchase. If you have trouble sleeping and cannot afford to go to a sleep doctor, this is a great gadget to get you started in learning more about your sleep.


Recently I noticed that my light sensor began working again! As previously mentioned, I used to get around 9lx max as the highest light entering my room during the day. This week I was looking at the data and noticed that the now the max light intensity reached 45lx! I am not sure what happened. I did not write down what the previous firmware version was, but it looks like it didn't change. Maybe something in the sensor got knocked around and began working. Who knows? I'm just glad it seems to be working now!


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    1. I appreciate the feedback. Glad to know that it reports similarly to the Fitbit!

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  3. Features like detecting the light, sound, humidity, temperature, and air quality are so awesome. Hoping that Hello Sense can be controlled using Android devices soon. akinator web guesser is the best app ever and I think everyone should try it! Not only is it so much fun to make the genie guess your character, it’s also fun to try to win the awards that you’re able to achieve!