Nana hopes its sleep-tracking mat for babies will be just as useful for adults
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Photo Credit: Nana

Founder Mah Chern Wern says the startup received feedback from many individuals that wanted to use the gadget for themselves and even for the elderly

Tech in Asia

Nana, a smart mat that was originally marketed as a safe and unobtrusive sleep tracker for babies, is now targeting a totally new segment: adults.

Founder Mah Chern Wern says the startup received feedback from many individuals as they prepared to launch it in Indonesia and the Philippines. Those people wanted to use the gadget for themselves and even for the elderly.

“This is why we decided to expand the product for use by everyone from infancy upwards. After all, there’s a similar occurrence of sleep-related issues in both adults and children,” he says.

This means Nana will be competing with the deluge of sleep tracking devices we’ve seen come out as experts warn of an epidemic of insufficient sleep among adults. Lack of sleep has been linked to the onset of many illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer – not to mention vehicle crashes, industrial accidents, and other occupational errors.

Up against fitness trackers

Nana is made up several components: first is a sensor mat slipped under the mattress that can detect movement, breathing, and heart rate during sleep. A wifi-enabled communicator unit placed next to the bed sends out sleep data to a cloud-based analytics engine that interprets this data and gives personalized advice on how to improve sleep. This data and advice can be viewed on Nana’s app, available on both iOS and Android.

The startup initially positioned itself as a solution for parents who want to go beyond the regular audio or video monitors in keeping track of their babies’ sleep patterns.

If before its rivals only included Sproutling, Owlet, Angelcare, and Monbaby, it now counts as competitors other mat sleep monitoring systems like Beddit and Withings Aura. In terms of the general market, smart wearables from Fitbit and Jawbone are also contenders.

Sleeping soundly

Though it bears strong similarities to other brands, Nana claims to be more intricate in recording and analyzing sleep data.

“Nana is the only contactless sleep sensor that can give you second-by-second analysis of your heart rate and breathing for highly accurate sleep monitoring,” says Mah.

Nana’s mat uses fiber-optic microbending sensors. It is unbelievably thin, just fractions of an inch, yet Mah claims it is sensitive enough to pick up breathing and heart beat through almost any mattress – regardless of thickness.

It also boasts of added value for consumers with its ability to provide personalized sleep advice and to communicate with other devices in the room.

“Nana’s app will provide tailored suggestions for improving sleep, based on your personal sleep patterns. For example, if Nana detects that you take a longer than average time to fall asleep, it might tell you to avoid unnecessary naps in the day,” explains Mah.

“Nana’s real-time understanding also acts as the nexus for controlling the environment around you – from dimming the lights to maintaining the perfect room temperature, to activating our sleep aids such as music and white noise, to power management and more,” he adds.

Nana has distributing partners, among them doctors and clinics, helping it reach out to consumers in the U.S. and Europe as well as various countries in ASEAN, including the Philippines and Indonesia.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $249, but the product is available for pre-order on Nana’s site at $169. “We have an ambitious plan to reach $25 million revenue in three years’ time,” notes Mah.

Editing by Steven Millward and J.T. Quigley

This post was originally published on Tech in Asia

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