Zeo sleep manager goes right to the phone

By Brian Dolan
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Zeo_iphone_newZeo unveiled the Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile this week, the next iteration of its sleep monitoring offering, which connects Zeo's sleep phase monitoring headband directly to iOS and Android devices without the need for a bedside monitor.

MobiHealthNews has anticipated Zeo's plans to transmit directly to smartphones since May of last year.

The name of Zeo's new device offers a clue about the company's strategy moving forward: It's no longer called a sleep "monitor" but a sleep "manager." MobiHealthNews recently visited Zeo headquarters in Newton, MA to discuss the product launch with CTO and co-founder Ben Rubin.

Sleep tracking is big but sleep management is huge, Rubin said. It's a $30 billion dollar market today and it could be five times that, in Rubin's estimation. Expect Zeo to move more into mobile health management apps and services that have sleep as a hook: What about a mobile app and program that is focused on helping users beat jetlag while traveling internationally? Now that Zeo is more portable, such an app is likely in the works at the company.

While Zeo's devices had been previously available at a number of electronics stores, including some Best Buys, both of Zeo's offerings will be available at some 1,100 Best Buy stores nationwide starting at the end of October. The device will also have its own display unit at the stores. The new Sleep Manager Mobile will retail for $100, while the legacy offering will retail for $150.

Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile uses Bluetooth -- not Bluetooth Low Energy -- to send sleep data directly to users' smartphones, which is viewable via a recently released free Sleep Manager app. Zeo launched its first iPhone app earlier this year, but the new app was completely redesigned, according to Rubin.

While the headband looks almost exactly the same, its guts couldn't be more different. Zeo's legacy model had all the processing power in the bedside display, while the new headband has the intelligence onboard. The processor coupled with Bluetooth makes for a more power-intensive device, but Rubin said that it can easily last the night and could hold its charge for at least an entire day and up to three. The device also includes an accelerometer for the first time, which enables it to track the wearer's movement at night and determine sleep position. The accelerometer can also help refine Zeo's algorithm. Since the processing power is local, the headband does not need to transmit continuously anymore -- it sends data to the smartphone every five minutes, Rubin said.

Zeo has two main customer segments: the Frustrated Sleeper and the Health Optimizer. The frustrated sleepers are typically older, have had trouble sleeping for the past five to seven years, and are willing to pay a couple hundred dollars for a solution. The optimizer group is typically younger, knows that sleep is important to overall health, shops at Whole Foods, does yoga, etc. This group is more price sensitive, which helps explain the $99 price tag for Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile.

Rubin also showed off an option that will become available in the future for those Zeo users who have trouble sleeping with the headband around their heads: a peel-and-stick version of the sleep sensor. The one-time use, peel-and-stick backing would be thrown out each morning, but could make the device more attractive to restless sleepers who wake up in the morning to find their Zeo headband had fallen off some time during the night.

Read more from the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE -- Zeo, Inc., the revolutionary sleep management company, today launched the mobile version of its new Zeo(R) Sleep Manager(TM) consumer product line. Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile allows consumers to track both their sleep quantity and sleep quality in the comfort of their own beds and also helps people manage and improve their sleep using their iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and, soon, popular Android-based smartphones. The Zeo Sleep Manager mobile and bedside products will both be available on display at Best Buy stores nationwide by the end of October.

With 64 million Americans facing sleep issues every night and an additional 49 million Americans experiencing problems at least a few nights a week,(1) the need for a good night's sleep as part of optimum health and wellness has become almost epidemic. The new Zeo Sleep Manager is the only consumer system that tracks all sleep phases and offers science-based solutions to everyday sleep issues that affect health, aging, mental acuity, energy level, stress level and physical performance.

Zeo CTO and Co-Founder Ben Rubin speaks to the complete health triad of exercise, diet and sleep as keys to overall wellness. "For too long, a good night's sleep has been the missing link to optimum health for millions of people. Zeo's new mobile sleep management system uses smartphones to show consumers how they really sleep, wherever they go, and then illustrates how to take control of and harness sleep's awesome and restorative power."

Zeo Sleep Manager is the only consumer sleep tracking system with scientifically-proven accuracy that measures actual sleep phases, including Light, Deep and REM sleep, providing a complete and accurate picture of users' sleep. Zeo uses a comfortable and highly accurate wireless headband equipped with SoftWave(TM) sensor technology to track these sleep phases and provide a nightly ZQ score, a customized sleep quality score. The new Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile system sends sleep data directly to users' smartphones, which then sync automatically to their online Zeo accounts, so they can easily access online analytical tools and customized expert guidance to help them improve their sleep.

Zeo is unlike any other sleep management consumer product available today. Key additional features include:

-- SmartWake(TM) Alarm uses SoftWave sensors to find users' natural awakening points to gently wake them at the optimal point in their sleep cycle, helping them to wake up feeling refreshed. -- ZQ Sleep Score summarizes sleep quality in a single objective number and allows users to set goals for their sleep quality and begin steps to control and improve it. -- 7 Steps to Sleep Fitness(TM) email coaching program gives users personalized guidance to sleep better by helping them to manage their Sleep Stealers(TM), such as caffeine, alcohol, stress, bad bedtime routine and poor bedroom environment.

"Our loyal users have been asking us for a smartphone-based Zeo for quite some time," states Dave Dickinson, president and CEO of Zeo. "This portable, and even more affordable innovation, opens up the power of sleep management to a wider and increasingly more mobile population of sleep-deprived consumers."

"We at Best Buy see and embrace the introduction of mobile technologies that help consumers more easily monitor their activity so they can enjoy healthy, active lifestyles," said Kurt Hulander, health business development leader at Best Buy. "We're big fans of Zeo because we know how critical sleep is to a healthy lifestyle, and they have a great solution. We look forward to having our customers experience Zeo in our stores for the holidays."

Fitness and diet partners have also joined Zeo in the growing connected wellness movement to expand health measurement into total management. Zeo Sleep Manager data will be linked to a variety of health and fitness applications, including DailyBurn, Digifit(TM), GravityEight and RunKeeper, providing a more comprehensive picture of total wellbeing.

"Zeo Sleep Manager is based on the science of the sleep laboratory and gives the consumer the ability to track their own sleep patterns at home," explains Dr. Ken Wright, Director, Sleep and Chronobiology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Chairperson of the Zeo Scientific Advisory Board. "As a sleep scientist, I know that sleep is vital to our health and quality of life. Zeo works to inspire people to learn more about their personal sleep patterns and take proactive steps to improve the quantity and quality of their sleep."

Zeo Sleep Manager Mobile ($99) is currently available for pre-order at www.myZeo.com , and the entire Zeo Sleep Manager product line will be available in Best Buy retail locations nationwide in late October.

About Zeo, Inc.

Zeo Inc., headquartered in Newton, Mass., is a leading innovator in consumer health and wellness. Started in 2003 by a group of sleep-deprived students at Brown University, Zeo has grown into the leading sleep management company in the U.S., with plans to launch in the UK in October and expand into Europe this holiday season. The Company's mission is to help people discover new, science-based ways to improve the quality of their lives through the awesome and restorative power of sleep. In 2010, Zeo won the Triple Tree Award for Best Consumer Experiences in Wireless Life Sciences as well as the prestigious Edison Award for Best New Product, presented by the Discovery Channel. To learn more about Zeo, visit www.myZeo.com .

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