BARCELONA -- Anyone who has been robbed of sleep by the loud, aggressive snores of another knows the inner struggle not to suffocate that person with a pillow. VVFly plans to stop this recurring nightmare with the VVFly Intelligent Snore Stopper. It's an hearing aid-style device that the snorer wears to bed. It transmits noise and vibrations into the ear when it detects snoring.
The $80 Intelligent Snore Stopper is made of a super flexible silica gel material. When I played with it at Mobile World Congress, the bud easily fit into my ear, but the part that hooks around the outside was a little tricky. On the larger side, there's a narrow control panel where you can put the device into sleep mode and turn it on or off.
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When you go to sleep, the VVFly uses bone conduction and a mic to detects snores. Those two components detected together indicate that you are in fact snoring and not just talking. It then transmits soft voices and vibrations into and on your ear to prompt you to adjust your position and, thus, stop snoring.
The VVFly representative I spoke to was adamant that the device isn't supposed to wake you, just irritate you enough to change position. The voices and vibrations start soft, for light sleepers, and then gradually increase if it detects that the snoring hasn't stopped.
The device also syncs via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, available for Android and iOS devices, that tracks and records your snoring in real-time. The next morning, you can check out the app to see how long you were snoring and, essentially, if the device did its job and helped you pipe down.
Snore stoppers aren't new, but most of them are mouthpieces or nose strips that attempt to stop the sound from the source. VVFly is positioning its snore stopper as the first ear-bound device of its kind, and while it's less intrusive compared to a mouthpiece, it's still a piece of headwear you have to don while sleeping.
The device became available in China in October 2014, and now VVFly is looking for American and European partners to bring the snore stopper to the rest of the world. There is no timeline for this roll out at this time.