Misfit taps Beddit for new sleep device and its first smart home foray

By Jonah Comstock

misfit-bedditMisfit Wearables, the company behind the Misfit Shine activity tracker, has upped its sleep tracking game, entering into a partnership with Beddit, the Helsinki, Finland-based mattress sensor startup. Customers will be able to purchase a co-branded Beddit device from Misfit's website, and the tracker will be integrated into the Misfit Shine app.

"It enables us to provide our users who are really serious about their sleep with a much more comprehensive product," Misfit CEO Sonny Vu told MobiHealthNews. "Many more kinds of information, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles, that kind of thing. More data qualitatively, without you having to wear anything. Shine’s already pretty slim and comfortable to wear, but there’s some people who absolutely don’t want to wear anything [when they sleep] and for them it will be really great."

Vu says the sleep sensor built into the Shine and the Beddit sensor will each have a place for the user who chooses to buy both. While Beddit gives deeper analysis of sleep, it attaches to the mattress and is therefore impractical for people who travel a lot. In that case, they can collect sleep data consistently through the Shine wherever they are. 

"It’s like a real integration," Vu said. "It’s not 'I’ll call your API, you call my API and we’re done.' When you look at the app, the entire app has been changed to make it work with Beddit products. We’ve been preparing for this."

The app includes a smart alarm that's designed to identify when the user is in a light part of their natural sleep cycle and gently wake them up then, to avoid the feeling of grogginess that comes from waking up in the middle of a REM cycle. For its part, Beddit will extend its reach considerably, as Misfit sells products in 35 countries.

Misfit Wearables launched the Shine in January 2013 with a successful Indiegogo campaign. The tracker is a simple metal disc, which can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or broach, that lights up to show the progress a user has made in their activity goals. A more detailed interaction with the device is done through Misfit's iOS or Android app.

Through a longstanding partnership with Coca Cola, Shine was named the official activity tracker of both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup. On the Fourth of July the company released it's red version of the Shine, previously exclusively available through MyCokeRewards, to the general public.

Since the Shine's launch, the company has introduced a steady stream of accessories and new colors for the Shine, including shirts, socks, and an ornate necklace called Bloom. Vu said that while many people are interested in the data, and Misfit is committed to those people, there's definitely a consumer demand for more aesthetic options. Two anecdotes Vu shared make that point pretty well. One of the top reasons people don't want to wear the Shine on their wrist is concern about tan lines. On the other hand, he said there are a "not insubstantial" number of Shine users who don't even put the battery in the device, but are just wearing it as a social signifier or a reminder to be more active.

For all the new ways to wear the Shine, the company has yet to release new hardware products since the tracker's January launch. Vu says that's going to change soon: the company has plans to start releasing new hardware every quarter, and Beddit is the first step in that direction.

"We've got a lot more products coming," he said. "We really view ourselves as a connected devices company, not just a wearables company. If you take a step back, and look at the Internet of Things, it’s about having the technology in the background without us having to stare at glowing rectangles all of our lives. The question is 'Where do these devices fall physically?' In your home, your office, your car, on your body? This represents our first product that we’re introducing into the smart home space."