Restless nights? Smart devices may help

Berlin - Insomniacs, light sleepers and others who blink bleary eyes every morning could be the next target of technology companies looking to come up with ideas to improve any given aspect of consumers' lives.

Samsung Electronics and Panasonic both showcased devices at the IFA, Europe's largest consumer electronics show, geared to helping people sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

Samsung's Sleep Sense can be placed underneath the mattress at night where it can monitor heartbeat, breathing and movements. Data is transmitted to a tablet, where it will be ready for analysis over breakfast, the head of Samsung's digital products, Yoon C. Lee, said.

Sleep Sense could also be connected to air conditioning, electronic window blinds or lights, allowing for room temperature and lights to be adapted depending on the user's physical condition.

Panasonic showed similar prototypes which can measure sleep rhythm and time an alarm to gently ease the user awake during a period of light snoozing, rather than giving a sudden jolt from a deep slumber.

The device can be linked to air conditioning and, if connected to a coffee machine, the user can be greeted with the smell of fresh coffee in the morning.

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