A multi-functional sleep system incorporating sleep tracking, bedroom environmental monitoring and scientifically designed sleep-wake programs.
[Update: Withings was acquired by Nokia and their products are now branded as Nokia Health]
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At a glance
While the Withings Aura can function as a standalone device – providing a bedside light and speaker, when paired with the optional sensor accessory it transforms into a total sleep system that includes sleep monitoring.
How does it work?
When darkness falls the Aura uses its lamp and speaker to begin a scientifically-proven programme of light and sound that will ease you gently off to sleep. Each programme lasts a duration of 20 minutes, allowing you to fall asleep and rise at the optimum time within your sleep cycle.
At night the Aura uses a sunset light spectrum in its programming (incorporating various shades of red, ranging from light to dark) and accompanied by a decrescendo passage. This time span allows for the gradual release of melatonin – the ‘darkness’ hormone that helps induce sleep at night.
Come morning the Aura will increase light and sound with colours from the sunrise (blue) light spectrum and a crescendo sound. The inbuilt smart alarm will also utilise your sleep cycle information in order to wake you during your lightest period of sleep, thereby avoiding the sharp shock brought on by a regular alarm clock.
While you’re sleeping the bedside device will keep tabs on your environment using sensor technology, noting temperature, noise and light levels. The optional under-mattress sleep sensor doesn’t just offer vanilla accelerometer smarts, it monitors movement, respiration and heart rate too.
Design and ergonomics
Withings Aura comprises of a bedside device wholly constructed from plastic, and a white-cloth sleep sensor that tucks almost completely under your mattress (part of it needs to be exposed and hangs over the side). The sensor should line up in position with your chest.
If space is at a premium, the Withings Aura is probably not the solution for you. The sizable funnel-like device stands 11 inches tall and is recommended to sit a minimum 1 metre from your bed to get the best possible experience.
The Aura’s muted tones hide a speaker (making up a third of the device) and above this sits the LED bulb which is recessed in a hollow dome. You’ll forgive the bedside device’s unsubtle maritime appearance as soon as the LED light dimming technology is put into action.
Connectivity and apps
Towards the rear of the device you’ll find three USB ports – one of which is required to power the sensor mat via a supplied 4 metre-long cord, the other two are fair game. The Aura requires mains power too so you’ll need to position it close to a socket.
Withings has its own Health Mate app through which you can register and set-up the Aura device. You will also need to assign the sleep sensor to a user before use – this requires a few personal details (height, weight, age, gender etc.) in order to deliver the most accurate results.
The app is currently available for both iOS and Android devices (running 4.3 Jelly Bean or higher).
When it comes to tracking the bedside device will take environmental readings such as temperature, light and noise, whereas the sleep sensor will also report the following:
• Time taken to fall asleep
• Number of times you wake during the night (and if so how much)
• Duration of light sleep/deep sleep/REM sleep
• Percentage of sleep goal achieved
• Heart rate
Cost and availability
The optional sleep sensor accessory pushes Withings Aura up to the $299mark, but in addition to its sleep-tracking smarts it also functions as an alarm clock, portable speaker and bedside lamp.
It’s worth noting you’ll need to purchase an additional sensor if you’re a couple who both want to benefit from the Auru’s sleep solution.
You can purchase the Aura at Amazon and through Withings’ official website https://www.withings.com/
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