After purchasing Finnish sleep tracker accessory maker Beddit in May 2017, Apple shut down Beddit’s cloud service, cutting off new users this September and prior users last month. But the company apparently isn’t done releasing Beddit devices, as a new Apple-branded sleep monitor has just cleared the FCC, suggesting that the company will continue to address sleep tracking with accessories beyond Apple Watches.
Beddit’s last monitor looked like a thin fabric pouch, using a USB cable to connect to wall power, and Bluetooth to wirelessly share data with phones. The pouch is placed under a sheet, promising accurate overnight health tracking even if two people share a bed. Sensors monitor sleep, heart rate, breathing, snoring, and the bedroom’s environment — temperature and humidity — with results transferring instantly to Beddit’s app. Users receive a sleep score each morning based on the tracked data, which is currently stored only locally rather than being synced to a cloud server.
The FCC’s listings show that the new Apple sleep monitor has passed Bluetooth emissions testing, and has a model number of 3.5, which suggests that it’s an incremental update to the previously offered Beddit Sleep Monitor 3. No photo of the new device is offered, but a rendering of the mandatory FCC label suggests that it will have a fairly standard Apple power cable with tiny text markings, notably including “Designed by Beddit in California.”
Arguably the biggest revelation is that Apple is bothering to release another version of the accessory. Typically, Apple acquires small companies and folds their personnel into larger existing projects, and Beddit’s purchase would have made sense as a means to add sleep tracking capabilities to the Apple Watch — something that didn’t happen in 2018, but remains a possibility for 2019 or thereafter.
Unfortunately, and like its predecessors, the latest Apple Watch Series 4 doesn’t have the battery power to last overnight: Apple continues to recommend that users take it off and charge it after a normal day of use, typically when they go to sleep. Though Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 3100 chips were developed to let rival smartwatches offer multi-day battery life, Apple’s focus on an “all-day” experience has left an opening for Beddit and others to keep offer sleep tracking functionality in separate accessories.
Beddit’s current sleep monitor sells for $150. It remains to be seen whether Apple rebrands, reprices, or more deeply integrates the updated version with its Health app and related initiatives. But like its prior acquisition of Beats, the fact that Beddit’s name appears on the cable suggests the smaller brand is sticking around for now.