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Samsung's paddle-shaped sleep sensor can control your home while you sleep

Sleep, says Samsung, is a "mysterious frontier that allows us to rejuvenate." With this in mind, the company has created a new probe to explore this hinterland — the contactless SleepSense. This ping-pong paddle-shaped device slips under your mattress to monitor you in the night, using piezo sensors to detect vibrations. It sounds imprecise, but Samsung promises that this method can measure a user's heart rate, respiration, and movement with 97 percent accuracy. The SleepSense then connects via low-energy Bluetooth to the user's smartphone and delivers daily sleep reports every morning. These include a "sleep score" out of 80 that Samsung says lets people quickly quantify how good their sleep was, and compare different days, weeks, and months.

However, the sensor doesn't just monitor your sleep, but is also intended to actively improve it. As part of Samsung's ongoing push into the Internet of Things, the SleepSense will connect to Samsung devices around users' houses, including the newly unveiled SmartThings smart hub. This way, the sensor can dim lights, turn off the TV, and even fiddle with the air conditioning when it notices that someone is going to sleep, and it can also make similar preparations in the morning — turning on the radio and even getting a cup of coffee ready via internet-connected brewers. Samsung says it plans to expand this functionality in the future, although at present there's no reactive element to the SleepSense. It won't, for example, fan you with cool air if it notices you're not sleeping too well. There's no word either on how it handles two people sleeping in the same bed.