Complete real-time sleep feedback loop: Zeo device provides raw data

In a radical application of modern health philosophies–feedback
loops, patient empowerment, open data–the
Zeo company
has recently added a new feature to their consumer-priced sleep device
that puts out sleep phase and brain wave data every 30 seconds,
allowing a program to collect the data and act on it to alter your
sleep experience.
One hacker wrote about his program to

wake him during light sleep

in the hope of producing more RPM sleep.
Zeo CTO Ben Rubin told me that other promising applications provide
the sleeper with some audio or tactile stimulus in particular sleep
phases to help the sleeper enter another phase.

The Zeo is a small box priced at $199, which thousands of people have
been using to collect data on their sleep. At the back of the device
is a serial port that was unused up until recently, but that now
outputs the raw data that the Zeo has been using to calculate, store,
and display sleep patterns. Zeo also provides an API that stores and
manipulates data in simple, standard formats such as JSON, and that
lets people derive useful information without even uploading the data
to the web site. But the web site has its value too: the data that
individuals upload each night not only helps them figure out what
might be impeding their rest, but has become a major source of useful
information for sleep researchers.

Rubin recognizes that the Zeo company can’t create all the useful
applications people would like to use with their device. Between the
raw data feed and the APIs, he expects to see hackers as well as
professional developers jump into the breach. “In the new wave of
personal biometric devices,” Rubin says, “Zeo is the first to really
open up the data and the platform.”

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