Documents reveal Amazon’s plan to use radar for ‘sleep tracking’ and control of contactless devices

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An Amazon echo point. (Amazon Photo)

Amazon plans to use radar to help people monitor their sleep and control their devices using gestures, a Federal Communications Commission file reveals.

The FCC granted the Seattle tech giant a waiver request to deploy the technology on Friday, based in part on a precedent set by its 2018 approval of Google’s request for a similar waiver for its technology. portable radar Soli.

Amazon said in its June 22 filing that radar sensors capture movement in three-dimensional space, allowing users to “engage with a device and control its functionality through simple gestures and movements.”

The radar “would also monitor sleep with a higher degree of resolution and location accuracy than would otherwise be achievable,” according to the filing.

“In doing so, these devices would allow users to estimate the quality of sleep based on movement patterns,” Amazon said on the record. “The use of radar sensors in sleep tracking could improve sleep hygiene awareness and management, which in turn could produce significant health benefits for many Americans.”

Bloomberg News first reported on the FCC approval. GeekWire reached out to Amazon for comment on the repositories and its plans for the technology.

Business Insider previously reported that Amazon is developing an Alexa device to track sleep and monitor symptoms of sleep apnea.

Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and Echo devices aren’t mentioned in any FCC records, but it’s clear Amazon doesn’t offer the features for smartphones. The record says the devices will be “non-mobile” and will only work when connected to a power source.

Amazon currently offers sleep tracking through its Halo Band and associated subscription service, as part of its continued push towards health and wellness.

It’s part of a larger movement in the tech industry to use smart home devices for health and wellness. For example, researchers at the University of Washington have developed technology that uses sound waves from an Amazon Echo or Google Home device to detect irregular heartbeats.


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