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Amazon Granted Federal Consent To Develop Sensors That Monitor Consumers’ Sleep
By Ell Ko, 14 Jul 2021
Image via Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Amazon the permission to create and manufacture a contactless device to monitor people’s sleep.
In January, an exclusive article by Insider reported that an Alexa-powered device by Amazon was in the works, aiming to detect and track sleep apnea. In order to do this, the company would need to use a “Radar Sensor” operating “at higher power levels than currently allowed."
The Radar Sensors are designed to utilize high-frequency radio waves to track nearby movements, Gizmodo reports. In the initial proposal, Amazon wrote that the sensors would also benefit consumers with “mobility, speech, or tactile impairments.” They’re touchless, unlike most other smart devices, and won’t require you to speak, as opposed to Alexa. This hints at the likelihood that the sensors may find other uses outside of just sleep apnea monitoring.
Of course, sleep-tracking devices produced by companies like FitBit and other fitness tracker manufacturers are already in existence. There is also Apple, with the Apple Watch and Health app. However, Amazon needed to be granted special permission due to its radar, which aims to “motion in a discrete space that is characterized by a short distance between the radar and what it is sensing,” as the FCC document states.
Amazon mentioned the permission the FCC previously granted to Google, which incorporated a similar technology in its Pixel phone in 2018. “The power level under which the Amazon Radar Sensor will be permitted to operate will be the same as we previously permitted in the Google Waiver,” the FCC concludes.
[via CBS News, image via Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com]
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