Sleep tracking in consumer hardware products has been around for a while — Fitbit, for instance, has provided it for 15 years. But these tracking and analysis offerings have evolved over time. “We’ve added so much more capability,” says Dr. Conor Heneghan. Conor is a research scientist who works on sleep health at Google across consumer hardware. His team is responsible for developing the helpful new sleep features for Fitbit and Pixel Watch, which uses Fitbit’s health and fitness technology.
A lot of this progress is thanks to AI. “The team I work on relies on various machine learning algorithms to do our work,” Conor says. These algorithms work like this: Your device detects raw sensor signals — like movement or reflected light — and uses algorithms to map these signals to other useful information, such as your heart rate and your steps. Additional algorithms then take this data and map it to even more complicated concepts, like your sleep stage or your stress level, so that you have more helpful information to act on. “We can combine all of these bits of information together to get really detailed information related to sleep,” says Conor.
Here’s a look at how AI powers sleep features on devices like Fitbit, Pixel Watch and Nest Hub (2nd gen), and how they can help you get better rest.