Apple secures place in smart health market with acquisition of Beddit

Apple has bought Finnish business, Beddit – a company that specialises in tracking sleep quality, heart rate and even snoring with the aim of improving users sleep quality.

Beddit was founded in 2007 and has been selling sleep trackers in Apple stores since 2017.

The £130 Beddit sleep tracker consists of a 1.5mm thick strip of sensors that are placed on top of the mattress and connected to a wall outlet for power. Combined with an Android or iPhone app, the Beddit sleep sensor tracks sleep time and quality, heart rate, breathing rate and snoring. It also acts as an intelligent alarm clock that wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase.

It has been described as the “Fitbit of sleep” because of its easy to use sensor and comprehensive night-time tracking and analytics – something which Apple has failed to feature within its iPhone or Apple Watch apps.

Until recently, Fitbit was the market leader in wearable device sales, but according to data from Strategy Analytics, Apple has overtaken Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearable device manufacturer, shipping 3.5m Apple Watches and holding 16% of the global market in the first quarter of 2017.

While the initial focus for smartwatches, including Google’s Android Wear watches and the Apple Watch, was around apps and notifications, it has quickly become apparent that health and fitness is a key factor for customers buying the wearable devices.

For Apple, comprehensive fitness and health tracking is essential. Sleep tracking has remained the domain of fitness trackers such as the Beddit, or wrist-worn devices such as the Fitbit Charge, which do not need charging each night to last through the day.

Whether Apple will continue to sell the Beddit sleep sensor is still unknown. What’s more likely is the technology will end up in future Apple products, including the Apple Watch.

So watch this wearable space.