Amazon Wants to Watch You Sleep

In March of 2021, Patent Forecast highlighted that patent data predicted that Google would be developing an IR-based sleep detector almost a year before Google confirmed it with an FCC filing. The new Nest Hub integrates products from the Nest acquisition with radar technology from Soli, which Google started developing in 2015. In July 2021, an FCC filing by Amazon suggests that the tech giant is moving in a similar direction — but the patents are not so supportive.

Amazon received a waiver from the FCC for a radar sensor for “contactless sleep tracing” functionality for a device connected to a power source. However, while Google’s patent portfolio supported its FCC designs, Amazon does not have published assets in this area. What is the company planning? Amazon’s June 2020 acquisition of Zoox, a LIDAR company, may have spurred development of other applications for contactless detection. Otherwise, the company may have another acquisition or licensing deal underway. Contactless sleep monitoring is not yet as popular as the use of wearables, so whichever company is able to bring effective products to market first may be able to dominate the space. That is, if it has the patent coverage. At this point, Google is still in the lead in IP. Follow the Consumer Sleep Patent Forecast® to be the first to know who will come out on top.