Is Apple Also Interested in Posture Detection?

Earlier in September 2021, Patent Forecast highlighted Philips and its subsidiary Nightbalance, speculating that the company may want to focus on posture detection and correction as an alternative to sleep apnea masks given recent recalls and bad press. New patent data suggests that Philips may be facing competition in that arena. 

Apple, which acquired Beddit for its on-mattress sleep tracking strip in 2017, has had a new patent application publish in September 2021 that was filed in June 2021. The application describes a pneumatic haptic device that senses a user’s position or posture and uses fluid-activated cells to adjust their posture. Apple seems to have been pursuing an accelerated timeline in developing this technology, as the application is a continuation-in-part (CIP) of a September 2020 filing. The CIP places more emphasis on integrating pressure sensors into the device, which suggests that Apple wants this device to be “smarter” and responsive to real-time conditions.The device has applications for general consumer use, such as to stop snoring or to improve pressure distribution. The idea goes a step further than Beddit’s original technology and Nightbalance’s sensors by offering ways to affect users in their sleep. 

Haptic control is a very small category in Consumer Sleep, which means Apple will be at a great advantage if it brings this technology to market. Keep up with updates to Consumer Sleep with Patent Forecast®.