Fitness and Health Gadgets: Tracking your Life

Wakemate

If you don’t need the in-depth analysis of the Zeo, the Fitbit can tell you how long it took you to fall asleep and how often you woke up, but you can’t use it to make waking up any less painful. The $60 Wakemate uses the same principle as the Fitbit – how much you move around – but links it to an iPhone app to track your sleep habits and wake you when you’re not deeply asleep (Android and BlackBerry apps are also available)

The Wakemate app graphs your sleep, based on movement.

The Wakemate app graphs your sleep, based on movement.

Although the fleecy wristband itself is soft and comfortable, the Wakemate device that slots into it is a little chunky (bigger than the Fitbit) and if you put it on the outside of your wrist like a watch – the natural position – it’s uncomfortable when you roll over on it. It’s better on the inside of your wrist, but it needs to go on your non-dominant wrist so right-handers need to take their watch off. Also, the device itself looks rather unfinished; a bundle of components covered in ill-fitting heatshrink with a tiny power switch that feels flimsy.

The fleecy Wakemate band; but your phone is your alarm.

The fleecy Wakemate band; but your phone is your alarm.

It’s easy to pair the Wakemate with your phone and to set an alarm in the app (with a 20-minute window, and the alarm does seem to go off when we were in a light sleep, making it a little easier to wake up. But you have to leave the app running on your phone all night (and as the foreground app), we had to get an update to the App Store to stop it from crashing and the battery needed charging more often than the app suggested. The alarm also goes off on your phone, which will wake anyone sleeping with you – that’s true of any alarm, but it’s going to be more irritating if one of you always gets woken at a good point and the other doesn’t.