So Amazon has gotten the go-ahead to track your sleep. What does this mean? Amazon made an initial request to the FCC which was filed on June 22nd (according to SlashGear), claiming that its planned use of radar would enable “touchless control of device features and functions without causing harmful interference to co-frequency users,”. The main aim for this would be to help elderly users, or those who have limited mobility or speech difficulties. Amazon also says that the new sensors can be used for “sleep tracking and could help improve consumers’ awareness and management of sleep hygiene.” It has been confirmed, however, that this roll-our will not include mobile devices.
Given the recent privacy concerns, particularly heightened by Apple’s iOS updates, users will continue to have more of a say over their data and how much they are willing to disclose. While sleep tracking isn’t new, tracking adds another layer to the role that IoT products will play in the consumer lifecycle. Despite the list of concerns when it comes to this, hands-free devices have been amazingly well-received by people in wheelchairs or those who are blind. With this go-ahead, Amazon has free rein to roll out a new version of the Echo that will let turn off your TV or set alarms using a nod or a hand wave and, hopefully, sign language. Doing this also cements Amazon a spot against current leaders in the health-monitoring game: Apple & Google.
While privacy concerns are there, the variety of benefits to this roll-out opens up a new expanded market for diverse audiences. This allows more opportunities for businesses to integrate conveniences into existing products that will assist and include a large range of audiences. But, whether or not your sleep data will turn into fodder for ad-targeting in the future is something that is still up for debate.
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