Cornell University
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Info Sci Innovators Track Sleep with 'DoppleSleep'

How well do you sleep at night? A radar could give you the answer.

Innovators from Cornell Information Science – including Associate Professor Tanzeem Choudhury – are among a research team working to track sleep quality using a radar device linked via Bluetooth to a mobile app. Dubbed DoppleSleep, the device is being developed as a more accurate and less invasive alternative to wearable monitors. The team's work is featured in an August 6 article by MIT Technology Review. 

Tanzeem Choudhury, an associate professor of information science at Cornell University and a coauthor of the paper, says a big motivation for conducting the work was to determine whether it was possible to get a good measure of sleep without requiring a device that makes contact with the body or the bed.

From what the group has seen so far, she says, “I definitely think you can.”

DoppleSleep operates on the same principle as the radar cops use to catch speeding drivers: its transceiver tracks the phase changes in electromagnetic waves that reflect off the sleeping person, but in this case the information is used to monitor their movements. This data is sent to a smartphone app that uses algorithms to estimate heart and breathing rates, detect changes in position, and determine which of the two main types of sleep a person is experiencing.

A paper detailing the research group's work will be presented at UbiComp in September, according to the article.