Chrona is like a wearable tracker that, instead of being attached to your wrist, is placed on your pillowcase.
Like all animals, humans require sleep along with other essentials, such as food, water and oxygen, in order to survive. Truth be told, sleep is a vital indicator of our overall health and well-being. While most of us will spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, we still can’t figure out how to attain that desirable “well rested” feeling. And though most of us know that getting a good night’s rest is paramount, too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority.
Knowing all too well the difficulties associated with trying to attain the ideal amount of shuteye, a group of St. Louis, Missouri entrepreneurs have set out to help you get the most out of those few hours. In other words, they want you to “not sleep longer, but smarter.”
Recently launched on Kickstarer, Chrona is essentially a smart pillow that is designed to track and improve sleep. The system consists of a thin memory foam pillow that sits atop of your regular head cushion and monitors movements at night using its built-in accelerometer. The pillow wirelessly connects with its accompanying mobile app via an embedded Bluetooth Smart module that safely transmits data.
Using the acquired accelerometer data, the app then determines where you are in your sleep cycle, and tells Chrona how to optimize your sleep or when to wake you up. According to its creators, Chrona can also last for seven weeks or so with just two AA batteries.
“Our design process is focused around comfort and ease-of-use. Chrona’s thin memory foam insert adds a layer of comfort without compromising the integrity of your pillow. Chrona’s minimalist speakers lay on top of pressure sensors, so the volume of the acoustic sleep optimization won’t ever be too loud, no matter how much you roll around,” the team writes.
As Chrona collects and analyzes sleeping patterns, its 0.5W compact speakers emit low-frequency noises that are meant to sooth and lull a user into a deeper, more restorative sleep. (And who said bedtime songs were simply for children?) Meanwhile, the device will begin to play higher frequency sounds to better transition you into a lighter state of sleep before the alarm goes off in the morning.
“When you’re relaxed with your eyes closed, your brain expresses the highest activity in the alpha-frequency range (like during meditation). Perfect Wake-Up uses sound in the same frequency range to prepare your mind to wake up,” the team adds.
People who share a bed needn’t worry about Chrona disrupting their partner’s rest either. That’s because the sounds coming from that pillow are so low in volume that they most likely won’t hear it. Beyond that, if both of you are using Chrona, the company’s proprietary algorithm will allow the two devices to communicate with each other and optimize sleep in a coordinated fashion.
David Rose, author of Enchanted Objects and an advocate of adding ambient technology to everyday items, has even endorsed the innovative product stating, “What’s powerful about Chrona is that it uses an object that is extremely familiar to all of us, improves it, and doesn’t require any complication installation or any new behviors.”
Deciding whether you’d like to rest smarter? Don’t sleep on it, hurry over to the team’s official Kickstarter page, where they are currently seeking $50,000. Shipment to early backers is slated for October 2015, while full-out available is set for December 2015.