SLEEPWISE is a compact wearable device that helps users create a personally designed environment, at home or on the road, to get a better night’s sleep. Its sensing device and app controls the user’s smart home and IoT devices to create the conditions for his or her preferred environment.
SLEEPWISE was initiated as a collaboration between Panasonic and Parsons School of Design to research, prototype, and innovate a new wearable technology that addresses health and wellness needs. As the creative lead and product designer of the team, I was tasked with identifying pain points in sub-health conditions, and designing a new wearable tech product that aims to solve those needs.
Working together with business leaders, engineers and designers from Panasonic and Parsons, the project follows a standard define-prototype-test-iterate process. First, we defined our context within the sub-health conditions. After a few mind mapping, sampling, informal interviews, and literature reviews, we recognized that the most common concern for sub-health conditions are sleep deprivation and sleeping disorder. Poor sleep affects a person’s mood, concentration, stress level, immune system, and causes diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Extended sleep deprivation can physically and mentally harm human bodies. Losing sleep can cause hallucinations, psychosis, and long-term memory impairment. Some studies have linked sleep deprivation to chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and bipolar disorder.” (Maxon, 2013)
“..the body experiences hormonal changes: cortisol and TSH levels increase, leading to a rise in blood pressure. A day or two later, it stops metabolizing glucose properly, creating carbohydrate cravings. The person’s body temperature will also drop, and immune system slowing down.” (Balleck, 2015)
EXISTING PRODUCT vs NEW PROPOSED PRODUCT
Through close examination of the current sleep tracking products on the market, our research identified that all the existing technology tracks the user’s sleep pattern, and generates a summary report for each night. The sleep report includes information such as the user’s total sleep hour, sleep quality, sleep cycle, movement, and breathing pattern. These sleep reports may be useful for the user to review their sleep when they wake up, but are essentially useless when the user is asleep. Instead of passively collecting data throughout the night, our team wanted to create a product that actively helps the user sleep better during the night.
Below the graph shows how the proposed product would benefit the user from a better night sleep. On the left, the room temperature AC is set at 75 fahrenheit throughout the night, causing the user to wake up from time to time. On the right, the room temperature is adjusted dynamically by the smartphone app according to the user’s sleep cycle, helping the user sleep better at night.