Your Fitbit can put an end to one of the biggest fights couples have in bed — whether one of them is snoring like a chainsaw.
The company has confirmed that its Sense and Versa 3 models will be rolling out with a microphone-powered ‘Snore & Noise Detect’ feature that indicates whether the wearer or their bedfellow is sawing logs.
The function, first reported by 9to5Google, requires users to activate it on their device’s ‘Sleep’ page.
It then records data on ‘snoring-specific sounds’ and the overall noise level in the room.
Once your Fitbit detects you’re in La La Land, the microphone will “sample, measure and gather information about the sound in your environment” every few seconds.
Detecting snoring can be the first step to addressing serious health problems like sleep apnea — and potentially saving your marriage.
Privacy advocates aren’t sure about the motive of the features, however, and see it as another revenue stream for Fitbit, which could sell data to advertisers.
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Fitbit has confirmed a new feature on the Sense and Versa 3 models that allows users to track ‘snoring events’ and overall noise quality while they sleep
‘Usually snoring is annoying for bed partners,’ Stanford sleep surgeon Stanley Yung Liu said in 2016. “Many patients seek care because they have been asked to leave the bedroom and sleep on the couch in the living room.”
But more than sacking their love lives, Lui said, “sleeping patients are often oblivious to breathing interruptions that pose serious health risks.”
Snoring can be associated with daytime symptoms of sleepiness, headaches or mood disorders such as anxiety, depression and irritability.
It may also be a warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to to the Mayo Clinic, a condition in which the throat muscles relax and block your airways during sleep.
The feature is not enabled by default and must be enabled in the user’s ‘Sleep’ settings
Snoring can be associated with daytime symptoms of sleepiness, headaches and mood disorders such as anxiety, depression and irritability. It can also be a warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the throat muscles relax and block the airways.
OSA can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and neurocognitive impairment.
The snore monitor feature eats up battery life, warning Fitbit and recommending that devices be charged at least 40 percent before going to bed.
Both the Fitbit Sense and the Versa 3 were released in late September 2020.
In addition to one of those smartwatches, the wearer of the Snore & Noise Detect feature requires a $10 monthly Fitbit premium subscription.
However, not everyone is impressed with the offer.
“The narrow hardware and service requirements dampen the usefulness of noise detection,” writes engadget’s J. Fingus. Still, it can be helpful if you’re already invested in the Fitbit ecosystem. It also gives Fitbit a potential advantage over rivals whose sleep tracking rarely causes noise.”
Fitbit warns that the Snore & Noise Detect feature can use a lot of juice and recommends that users have a battery level of 40 percent or higher before going to bed
Google, which acquired Fitbit in January for about $2.1 billion, has invested more in bedtime technology: In March, the company unveiled a new Nest Hub assistant with a built-in sleep monitor that analyzes the frequency of snoring and coughing.
The 7-inch smart screen, which retails for $100, relies on a new chip Google calls Soli, which uses radar to detect movement, including the depth of a person’s breathing.
The Nest Hub generates weekly sleep reports with breakdowns on the length and quality of sleep, how often the user gets up during the night, along with tips developed in consultation with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
With both the Fitbit and Nest Hub updates, privacy advocates worry that having a multi-billion dollar company accessing our nightly data is a risky proposition, especially given Google’s history of collecting personal data such as location, habits and interests to target online ads.
It also underscores Google’s clear intent to expand its tentacles into new areas of people’s lives in its relentless quest to make more money, according to Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a group for consumer and privacy rights.
“Google’s goal is to monetize every cell of your body,” Chester told the Associated Press in March.
The Nest Hub launched in March should generate weekly sleep reports with easy-to-understand breakdowns on sleep length and quality, how often the user gets up during the night.
Google emphasized that there are privacy protections built into the Hub’s sleep detection feature, including requiring owners to sign in to activate it.
Also, sleep data is stored on the device itself, meaning it’s not sent to Google’s data centers and “not used for marketing purposes,” it said. Google Nest Project Manager Ashton Udall.
Meanwhile, a privacy notice on Fitbit indicates that the snoring data will be used to “improve our products and services and research new ones.”
Google did not immediately respond to an email from DailyMail.com about how data from the Fitbit snoring monitor will be used.