Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/05/nfc_sleeptak/
Americans offered sleep-monitoring datatouch card
What next? NFC incontinence pants?
T-Mobile USA is pushing out SleepTrak, a card which accumulates data on the user's sleeping habits and uploads it to a Nokia C7 for analysis.
The card has been around for a few months, but the company told NFC Times it has only sold a few hundred units prior to the new endorsement from the carrier which reckons hypochondriac insomniacs might be the ideal buyers of Nokia's lacklustre C7 handset.
The customer just slips the SleepTrak card into an arm-pouch and settles down to rest, the accelerometer in the card gathers data on throughout the night and uploads it when touched to a compatible handset, as shown in the manufacturer's demonstration video:
Aside from reporting how many times the user woke up (surely redundant at some level) the software monitors how disrupted the night's sleep was and provides a questionnaire for the user to establish a sleep diary, so they can try to identify what's stopping them getting a good night's rest.
It's part of the trend towards "wellness" applications, which we keep being told are the next big thing and are an area where NFC is expected to make great inroads.
Basically most of those involved in the mobile industry are getting pretty old these days, and increasingly paranoid about health, so there's an increasing focus on creating mobile applications which might help them live a little longer. It used to be connected jogging shoes, now its aids to sleeping, we're expecting connected incontinence pants any day now.
For T-Mobile this might be a way to shift some of those Nokia C7's which are cluttering up the place. The C7 is branded Astound in the USA but has not been flying off the shelves despite bring one of Nokia's first production handsets featuring Near Field Communications capability. Other vendors are using NFC to pay for stuff, or store loyalty cards, but Nokia's implementation lacks the secure element necessary for such applications so the company is keen to promote alternative uses of NFC.