The best Fitbits have offered sleep tracking for years, but it looks like the company's feature packed smartwatches will soon be getting an upgrade to offer insights on how much you snore when out for the count.
According to 9to5Google, which decompiled the latest version of the Fitbit Android app, a function that uses your device’s microphone to measure snore volume is almost ready for show time. As the screenshots below show, the copy is all written, and the site notes that it was able to “briefly enable the feature to at least set it up”.
When enabled, the function will monitor both sound intensity and specific “snoring events” when the volume exceeds the baseline noise level. But we have some concerns about our smartwatches listening to us throughout the night.
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According to the app breakdown, Fitbit will provide analysis based on frequency (ranging from “none to mild” for less than 10% of the night, to “frequent” for those who snore for over 40% of their down time) and volume (with under 30 dBA counting as “very quiet” and over 90 dBA qualifying as “very loud”).
It’s not really clear what Fitbit owners are expected to do with this information, though snoring can seriously impact the quality of sleep as well as prove disruptive to others, so it does feel like a metric worth tracking.
There are, however, drawbacks to snore tracking that Fitbit notes here. First of all, it has no way of telling who’s snoring, so if you share your bed with someone, it may well pick up on their noise rather than yours. Plus using white noise or other ambient sounds to get to sleep can also disrupt things, the app notes.
But more seriously, snore tracking requires use of a Fitbit’s built-in microphone to measure snore volume and frequency. Firstly, not all Fitbits have microphones in them: the first mic was found in the Fitbit Versa 2 for its Alexa functionality, and it remains a feature for the company’s more expensive smartwatches rather than its fitness bands.
Secondly, as you might imagine, keeping a microphone running all night does things to battery life. To this end, Fitbit apparently advises you to ensure your device has at least 40% of its charge remaining before you turn in. “Note that this feature requires more frequent charging,” the copy adds.
Whether the usefulness of the stats will warrant the extra battery expenditure and possible invasion of privacy remains to be seen, but it’s certainly encouraging that Fitbit is adding new features to existing product lines, without forcing you to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
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