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Apple could supercharge your sleep with its first smart mattress

How to sleep better
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple has filed for a patent which suggests it is investigating the possibility of a “haptic” bed. The U.S. Patent was originally filed on September 14 2020 but was only published March 25. The patent details a kind of high-tech mattress topper fitting under your upper body and uses a pneumatic system. It might use air, or perhaps a fluid of some kind, or perhaps a mixture of both 

The patent also talks about the importance of control. These air or liquid-filled bladders will need to operate entirely independently of each other. That could, in itself, present a hefty technological challenge for a compact device you’re expected to sleep on top of. 

The patent design for Apple's sleep system

(Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

In 2017 Apple bought Finnish firm Beddit which, at the time, used a mattress sensor to detect your sleep patterns. As technology has developed, Apple has included sleep tracking into its Apple Watch so with monitoring taken care of the next logical step may well be to improve sleep, So perhaps this is what that acquisition may bring to any product Apple may make. 

Perhaps Apple could create a mattress that’s able to stop your snoring by gently moving you by a tiny amount while you’re asleep. Or perhaps it could help you drift off with a massage program that’s designed specifically for your needs and wake you up with some gentle vibration of some kind. 

It’s also interesting to see that Apple’s not going for the whole mattress here. Rather, it's a system that works with what you already have, which is likely to be an easier sell for people who have already invested in a fantastic mattress. 

Of course, none of this is guaranteed. Patent applications are just a matter of course for companies like Apple, which conduct a lot of research into a lot of different areas. How this develops over time could be interesting though. 

A tech journalist with many years of experience, Ian got his start writing about the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Technology might have moved on, but there's still plenty of skirmishes to report on.