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Why using a prototyping specialist makes Sense

At the end of July, a company based in San Francisco launched their new product Sense, on Kickstarter. They were aiming to raise $1m to help them develop their business; they managed to reach this target in just four days. In fact, their success has made them one of, if not the, biggest crowdfunding hits to date, with a total of 14,118 backers and $1,768,219 of funding, with 15 days still to go.

‘In just over four short days, 7,945 of you have pledged $1,000,333 to receive 8,213 Senses,’ said James Proud, the sensor’s somewhat overwhelmed inventor.

So what is the Sense?

The Sense is a smart sleep monitoring system. It monitors how you sleep and the environment you are sleeping in. It can sense everything from how you move in the night, what wakes you up and even the temperature and humidity of the room you are in.

Some of the main features of the Sense include:

  1. The sensor’s Smart Alarm will wake you up in the morning at the optimum point in your sleep cycle, so that you don’t get that groggy feeling

  2. You can connect the Sense to your iPhone or Android device via an app

  3. Each morning you will receive a Sleep Score for the previous night’s sleep, telling you exactly how well you slept, taking into consideration the environment, any disturbances and your own behaviour during the night

  4. You can play back sound disturbances so you know the things that have disturbed your sleep during the night

  5. The Sense has a speaker that can play white noise or similar sounds including pink noise and calming rain to help you sleep better

  6. The sense comes with a Sleep Pill which attaches to your pillow and tracks your sleep at night, it knows whether you’re falling asleep, waking up or sleeping restlessly

The Technicalities

Although the sensor’s design looks good on the outside, using a simple, clean design, what happens on the inside is more complex. Features include an Ambience Light Sensor, a Temperature and Humidity Sensor and a Particulate Sensor. The Sense is constructed from four PCBs which are stacked on top of one another and protected by an outer shell.

The Sleep Pill is a 6-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope, which is capable of picking up any movements you might make during the night. This data is then sent through Low Energy Bluetooth and ANT to the Sense.

Next Steps

The design, prototyping, testing and build of the Sense have taken nearly a year and are still in progress now. Although the EVT (manufacturing, assembling and testing of the product) is complete, the DVT (testing of mechanicals and electrics) and the PVT (testing of the quality and robustness) phases in the process are still a way off being completed.

At SouMac, we love working with businesses looking to develop a new product. As PCB prototyping specialists, we can help products like Sense get to market quicker. What is more, we can help take products through from prototype to full production, including final assembly. So if you need support in bringing your idea to life and out to market, then we’d love to help. If you are looking for technical advice around PCB prototyping, assembly or testing, for a new product, give us a call and we’d be happy to assist in any way we can.

Photographs taken from Kickstarter page:


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