Apple researching mattress haptic system to wake, relax users

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is researching a possible haptic feedback device that could be placed on top of a mattress and act as an alarm clock or relaxation device for users.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The Cupertino tech giant already has a few sleep-related endeavors. It owns sleep tracking device firm Beddit, and in 2020, it introduced a sleep tracking feature to its Apple Watch platform.

In a patent application published on Thursday and titled "Pneumatic Haptic Device Having Actuation Cells for Producing a Haptic Output over a Bed Mattress," Apple outlines a new type of sleep-related system that could allow a control device to provide haptic feedback on a mattress.

The so-called "in-bed haptic device" could be comprised of actuation cells that could be inflated or deflated to produce a tactile and perceptible impulse. It could do so via introduction or removal of some type of "fluid," which could also include air, gasses, liquids, or some combination of them.

"The in-bed haptic device may include an enclosure that is configured to be placed beneath a user during use. In some cases, the in-bed haptic device may be positioned between a mattress and a user during use. The in-bed haptic device may provide haptic outputs along a top external surface that may be perceived tactilely (e.g., sensed through touch) by the user," the patent reads.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Comfort is an important part of sleep, so Apple adds that the in-bed haptic device could be sufficiently thin or flexible enough to not disturb a user when placed between them and a mattress.

The system could be configured to expand, contract, or otherwise change shape in a predetermined sequence to provide haptic outputs. Apple notes it could be used to "help a user relax, to move and/or wake a user, to indicate outputs, alerts, or notifications at the in-bed haptic device or another electronic device, or the like."

Apple adds that the haptic unit could be combined with or include an input system, which could include force sensing mechanics, biometric sensors, light sensors, or other sensors.

With the suite of sensors, the system could detect whether a user is in bed and whether they are sleeping on their back, side, or stomach. If a microphone is included in the sensor suite, the system could also detect snoring.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


As far as practical uses, the system could be used as a gentle and noiseless "alarm clock" to wake users. Combined with the snoring detection system, it could automatically provide haptic feedback to gently wake a user if they happen to snore throughout the night.

The patent lists Riley E. Brandt; Linda Benavente-Notaro; Antonio Herrera; Denis Lin; Zijing Zeng; Erno H. Klaassen; and Zhipeng Zhang as its inventors. At least two of those inventors have also worked on technology related to Apple Watch blood pressure sensing mechanisms and "smart blankets."

The company has also shown off its sleep-related ambitions in other patents, including one published in February for a much more unobtrusive sleep tracking system.

Apple files and is granted numerous patents on a weekly basis, so they are a poor indicator of the company's future plans or any sort of product release timeline.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,223member
    Just in; Facebook and Google soon to copy this, with the additional feature that they record your dreams and sell them.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Credit Apple
    Where do you put the quarters?

    mobirdavon b7
  • Reply 3 of 8
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 75member
    MacPro said:
    Just in; Facebook and Google soon to copy this, with the additional feature that they record your dreams and sell them.
    Actually they are going to insert ads into your dreams.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 505member
    muaddib said:
    MacPro said:
    Just in; Facebook and Google soon to copy this, with the additional feature that they record your dreams and sell them.
    Actually they are going to insert ads into your dreams.
    Not much can freak me out these days, but that just did. Bravo. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,237member
    muaddib said:
    MacPro said:
    Just in; Facebook and Google soon to copy this, with the additional feature that they record your dreams and sell them.
    Actually they are going to insert ads into your dreams.
    They wouldn't even need ads anymore at that point, they could just make you dream about how much you want those products.  Can you imagine how much dream product placement would be worth to companies?
    edited March 25 Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,957member
    Well, “iPad” is already taken.

    MacPro said:
    Just in; Facebook and Google soon to copy this, with the additional feature that they record your dreams and sell them.

    I see Samsung copying this patent(as usual) and creating a disaster released to beat Apple, that catches fire, has no reason to exist, doesn’t sell, the usual.

    Apple perfects the tech and releases a WORKING model with reason and iKnockoff morons claim “Apple copied Samsung!!”

    Credit:
    Galaxy Edge
    Galaxy Gear
    Galaxy Fold
    Galaxy Airtags thingies
    edited March 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    lojacklojack Posts: 28member
    Ooh, magic fingers bed of the future!  :)

     
    davenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    davendaven Posts: 616member
    lojack said:
    Ooh, magic fingers bed of the future!  :)

     
    I remember those. Do they still have them in motels?
    watto_cobra
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