Smart sleep is one of the cooler areas of home technology. Recent products we’ve seen include; pillows, ambient sound systems and health monitors. They can all help improve your sleep in various ways. But, intriguingly, the Sevenhugs hugOne offers to improve sleep for the whole family.
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Key Features of the hugOne
7//For around $180 (at the time of this writing), The hugOne offers a set of sensors to track the family’s sleep with an app to show patterns, benefits and issues.
The product comes in two parts. There’s a main sensor that can sit anywhere in the main living area, and a pair of mini sensors, (powered by coin batteries) that go under the bed sheet, on top of the mattress.
You can buy more sensors, $50 each, depending on how many are in the family. The unit can monitor up to eight individuals. You can set a sleep schedule, and it can remind people when it is bedtime, and when to get up.
When it is bedtime, the mini sensors shut down their radios so there’s no data flying around the room at night. That should help everyone concentrate on a good night’s sleep.
The hub can link to Nest products and Philips Hue lights to control temperature and lighting as people go to bed and get up. A smart alarm clock can learn your sleep cycle and the app shows how everyone slept.
It can link to your smart lights to encourage the children to go to sleep. It can also claims to wake people up with an alarm at the best moment of your sleep cycle, so you have the best possible wake up call.
As a bonus, using sensors built into the main unit, it can check the air temperature, humidity, and quality to keep people warm and secure.
Finally, it can interact with Amazon Echo and Alexa, and the main unit glows at bedtime as a useful reminder if people are too busy to notice. It also supports IFTTT commands to limited effect to work with other smart home gadgets.
Pros of the hugOne Sleep Tracking System
- Simple Installation: Installation is pretty simple, the package comes with multi-region power connectors and a USB power lead, so you can use it anywhere in the world. Once out of the box, use the app to connect the hub to the WiFi and install the mini-sensors in each bed. You can use the app to create ideal sleep patterns and to connect and control other smart home features to come on or off, depending on your needs. The main unit is certainly attractive and subtle in its notifications. There’s a glowing ring at the top and a clear segment at the base that adds color and makes it more fun when getting children to go to bed.
- Helpful Features: In theory, it can track and improve sleep patterns for the whole family, show the ambient temperature and air quality on the app. It can alert people to any air quality issues, such as the presence of volatile organic compounds. However, all you can realistically do is open the window to get some fresh air in.
- Good for Sleep Tracking over Time: When it comes to monitoring sleep, when the app updates, you can see a sleep bar that shows deep, light or broken sleep. You can investigate further to find out why the children were up in the night, or see a quality score. You can try and improve that by adjusting smart home settings or being more rigorous in monitoring sleep.
Cons of the hugOne Sleep Tracking System
It seems to us that the hugOne was a smart idea, that someone couldn’t quite follow through on, or is still a work in progress. There’s no HealthKit support, which is a big omission. The technology works well, and links in with other smart home gadgets okay, but hardly delivers on practical ways to improve sleep.
The help and advice for better sleep it provides is just static advice than anyone with half a brain knows already. Cut down on the coffee before bed is hardly the level of advice we’re expecting, especially as I don’t drink coffee in the evening. If it were truly smart, it would know that.
While it takes a few days for the sensors and data to get used to your patterns, user reviews report that it can still show people as asleep after they’ve got up, showered and gone to work.
That’s hardly a sign of quality, and since that’s the key selling point of the product it does seem rather a major flaw if that happens to you.
The app itself was updated fairly regularly until July. But since then the company seems focused on its new product, a super control-everything, smart remote control.
That is currently raising funding on Kickstarter and is fast approaching the $750,000 mark. So perhaps their eyes are firmly on the future.
Summary of the hugOne
The hugOne is a pretty smart idea that seems to have some execution issues. As with most other multi-purpose sensors the air quality issue is a nice-to-have but not an essential, especially if you have one of the many devices that come with such a feature.
If you do have sleep problems, then it could be well worth trying. But, if sleep is disturbed by children, or external influences then you already know the root cause and can do what you will to try and solve it.
So, hugOne could be part of the solution, and for a family could be a fun way to help get the children to bed on time, but as far as the science bit goes, it doesn’t do half as much as it could.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!