A new type of bed sensor

Hey everyone, I’m currently working on developing a bed sensor that can detect when you’re out of bed. The sensors are placed under the legs of your bed post and are designed to look and feel like smart furniture pads - they’re just 2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. With the bed sensor, you can trigger other smart home gadgets, like lights or blinds, temperature, and more.
Before we go any further, I’d love to get your thoughts on this – would this device be useful? We’re still in the early stages of development, so any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Why limit to beds ? Door matts, chairs, sofas, car seats for security, definately a worthy venture

Great ideas. Well our instinct was to focus on the bed first. Where would you install it first, if you had a device that works for all of your cases mentioned (including beds), and what other parts of your smart home would you want it to trigger?

Sounds like an interesting project! There are several devices intended to solve the same use case which are currently available, although they work in slightly different ways. They are almost all a form of pressure sensor.

Probably the best known all in one commercially available is WiThings Sleep. It is a long pad which goes between the mattress and box spring. Because it is detecting changes in the person’s movements, not just weight on a pressure sensor, it can track a lot of different kinds of information, including sleep cycles, heart rate, and detect snoring. It has been clinically tested at a hospital. It typically costs around $130, although it’s occasionally on sale. It has Ifttt integration, which is how people bring it into smartthings. You put it on one side of the bed or the other, so if two people sleep in the bed, you can get two of them and track them independently. It’s been out for at least five years and seems to be pretty popular, it’s got a rating of just over four stars at Amazon.

Withings Sleep offers sleep cycles (deep, light & REM), snore detection, breathing disturbances and heart rate. Enjoy easy one-time setup and automatic sync to the Health Mate app via Wi-Fi. Also features IFTTT integration for scenarios such as dimming lights when you go to bed, or turning up your thermostat when you get up. You can place the sleep sensor directly under the mattress (between the mattress and the bed platform or box spring). Withings Sleep has been tested with a mattress thickness of 4 to 15 inches.

I would think that would be your primary competition unless you can bring it in at a much lower cost. I don’t see how bedpost sensors are going to provide the same breadth of features. :thinking:

(By the way, at one point, smartthings had a similar bed sensor in development, and it got as far as beta test, but was never released to market.)

Your other competition will likely be DIY pressure mats. These are easy to make, and there have been a number of past project reports about them. See the smart chair project report for the most detailed discussion. Of course any discussion of Groovy code will be out of date and would need to be replaced with something compatible with the current architecture, but the hardware and general approach would still be the same.

Smart Chair

So I think there’s a potential market, depending on price and features, but I’m not sure it’s really a new category. :thinking:

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Couple more thoughts…

My first concern with any powered device placed on the floor under the bed is fire safety. There are always risks at floor level: dogs chewing on it, vacuums running into it, someone spilling their coffee next to it, wet floor mops, etc.

Speaking just for myself, I certainly wouldn’t buy any device of this type that wasn’t UL listed for safety. There are ways to move the power source up off the floor, but it’s still likely to be very close to the bed. So just something to think about. (BTW, the Withings Sleep is UL listed as an in bed device like a mattress pad.)

Next, I found that I personally preferred a more intentional indicator, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times in other forum threads on controlling lights in the bedroom. There were just so many things that could unintentionally activate a pressure sensor. Just sitting on the bed, putting a suitcase on the bed, my 75 pound dog jumping on the bed, etc.

What I use now is a motion sensor between the nightstand and the bed aimed at the bed. I just slide a hand past it as I’m getting out of bed. No false alarms, very inexpensive, can’t get misplaced {stares meaningfully at the dog :dog:}, works very well for my purposes. But different things will work for different people. :sleeping:

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Your device has unique features that make it a valuable tool for tracking sleep patterns. By focusing on its strengths and exploring alternative approaches
One possible strategy would be to market it as a specialized sleep tracking tool, highlighting the different approach it takes compared to existing wearables.
Another option could be to leverage its smart capabilities and offer users the ability to customize their sleep environment. But it will be hard to compete with the simple bedside button.


And here’s a thread from a couple of years ago where people are discussing how they use the Withings sleep sensor with smartthings:

Suggestions for detecting when someone is laying on the bed?

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