Tanita Corp will release a mat that enables to easily check the state of sleep at home in May 2010 in Japan.
The mat, "Sleep Scan (SL-501)," is equipped with a sensor and can be used just by putting it under bedclothes and lying on the bed. The company expects that the mat will be used in medical institutions that can treat sleep disorders, care facilities and hotels as well as homes. It is priced at ¥36,750 (approx US$391). The sales goal is 10,000 units in the first year.
The sensor embedded in the mat records the pulse rate, respiration rate and body motion of the user on an SD memory card. When the recorded data is read by a PC installed with accompanying dedicated software, the state of sleep is shown as a graph, etc.
Specifically, it is possible to know sleeping hours, the time to get to sleep, the number of times when the user becomes awake and other information. Based on those data, a "sleeping score" is calculated. Also, the state of sleep can be graphed in chronological order by accumulating the data.
Purified water is used for the sensor. First, a capacitor microphone detects the vibration transmitted by the water contained in the mat. Then, the vibration is separated into three elements (pulse rate, respiration rate and body motion) based on the differences in frequency and strength.