Google recently filed a patent application for a device that monitors a person while sleeping using infrared technology.  The device measures the amount of infrared radiation bouncing off the person and returning to the device which aims to give information on the person’s sleeping patterns and behaviours.  The patent also mentions the possibly of interpreting breathing and heart rate patterns.

Devices that have the ability to log a person’s sleeping patterns represents technology that is not new – there are currently several devices that do this on the market today.  What is unique about the device mentioned in this patent application is that it is a stand alone device, meaning that users do not have to wear other devices (such as wristbands or watches) in order for it to work.  The independent, passive nature of the device mentioned in this patent application is its unique selling proposition as it would not disturb people when they are sleeping so the behaviours recorded would be the truest possible versions of the person’s sleeping patterns.  The device merely monitors users sleeping patterns from a distance using infrared beams of radiation that cannot be picked up by the human eye.

The other benefit of the device mentioned in the patent application is that it connected to a home alarm system which rings the alarm or alerts another family member in the house if the device finds the user’s breathing suddenly becomes very low.  This device thus has great safety potential for monitoring the healthy sleep cycles of both children and adults.