Thursday April 14, 2005 2:08 pm
Interview with Lee Loree, SLEEPTRACKER Inventor
A few weeks ago we reviewed the SLEEPTRACKER watch which aims to change one’s life by improving the start of their day. We got a lot of questions from readers who wanted more information on the background of the product, so we decided to go straight to the source. Lee Loree is the Managing Partner of Innovative Sleep Solutions, and the mind behind the SLEEPTRACKER. We were able to chat with him about the function of the device, as well as the success it is enjoying.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, along with what your position is at Innovative Sleep Solutions?
I came up with the idea for SLEEPTRACKER as I lay reading in bed one night. My wife had been asleep for a few hours when she rolled over. As she rolled over I said something and she responded. We spoke briefly then she went back to sleep. I waited about 10 minutes and tried to speak to her in the same tone and she did not respond. I found that exchange interesting so I started spending evenings in libraries and on line researching sleep. From there I had meetings with doctors in the sleep field to access our idea and work to build our model.
What is your background in sleep technology?
My expertise lies in the original idea. From there I found people in the sleep field and engineers to help me design SLEEPTRACKER.
Tell us a bit about the SLEEPTRACKER in your own words.
The two things that stick out most to me are:
- It gives the user a simple non-invasive device that allows them to glimpse into their night’s sleeping behavior.
- Not only does it wake you more gently when your body is almost awake, it also gives you a few extra minutes to get ready in the morning.
What was the process used to develop the SLEEPTRACKER? How many people were involved?
There were a lot of people consulted and involved over the course of 4+ years not counting the friends who allowed us to video tape them sleeping while wearing bulky prototypes.
How long did it take to go from concept to having the product in your hand?
About 5 years
Can you explain what the SLEEPTRACKER is actually monitoring while it is being worn?
SLEEPTRACKER has an accelerometer that sense brief periods of moment that correlate to lighter stages of sleep.
The SLEEPTRACKER’s appearance is a bit dull. Was this ever mentioned in focus groups or testing?
Some people have said that but that is by design. We felt like people might wear it all day but in the end it was a tool to be worn at night. Putting flashy orange buttons and multi colored wrist bands seemed counter to a sleeping tool.
How many units have you sold since the product launched?
We do not publish exact figures but we went through about 85% of inventory in our first month of business. We had projected that inventory to last 5 months.
The product has turned out to be a success. Why is it that you think people are buying, and talking about, the SLEEPTRACKER product as much as they are?
75% of America complains about getting out of bed in the morning. That is an awfully big market.
Do you wear a SLEEPTRACKER? Has it changed the way you sleep?
I wear it every night. As a matter of fact I just this past week I ran an experiment. We usually let our dog sleep on our bed. On Monday I kept the dog out of our bedroom and my restlessness (data A) expanded from the mid 20’s on average to over 30 minutes. The next night I allowed our dog back into our room. 3 times she woke me to where I sat up in bed and was visibly disturbed (I video tape the nights I run tests). My Data A value declined back to just above the 20 minute threshold. I was noticeably more tired the day after the dog was on the bed.
As for the alarm catching me in the window, on a full night’s rest I am awoken in the window over 70% of the time with the 20 minute window. That number will vary between people.
Is Innovative Sleep Solutions developing any other products at this time?
Presently we are focused on getting more inventory and spreading the word about SLEEPTRACKER. We have only been in the market for a month.
Gear Live thanks Lee Loree for taking the time for this interview.
- Andru Edwards
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