We value your feedback a lot. That’s why these updates are a direct result from your input.
To update your Sleep Robot, you have to have a stable connection between your Sleep Robot and your mobile phone. Make sure that your charger is not connected with the Sleep Robot while updating. Read an extensive guide on how to update your Sleep Robot:
You can download the latest update here on iOS and Android.
✨ 04/20: Adjust your speed in adaptive breathing
Our redesigned breathing screen allows you to set the start speed and end speed when adaptive breathing is on. This allows you to better adjust the robot’s breathing to your own rhythm!
✨ 02/20: Renewed introduction screen for new users
This update is focused on giving new users a better experience when introducing the Sleep robot!
✨ 12/19: New breathing programme designs
In this update we’ve improved the design and user experience of the breathing program selection, added more information about the breathing programs. Next to that, we’ve added the user’s name to the Hello message at the home and breathing tab. The lightning icon is now replaced with a standard Bluetooth icon!
✨ 11/19: Accessibility update
The application is now automatically adjusted based on the accessibility settings of your device.
📱 11/19: Somnox Support 2.0
Where can I find the right information? In the app? The manual? On a website? Or should I make a phone call? Why isn’t there one central point where I can find everything?
We heard you. Therefore we are pleased to announce the Somnox Support 2.0 – a new way to support you through an updated live chat, an always up-to-date knowledge base and support messages for new Sleep Robot users. Have all information available in one central place.
✨ Added: Somnox Support for improving communication between you and Somnox
✨ Added: Audio will fade out when the Sleep Program is ending
Read more on the different ways you can use this: https://somnox.com/blog/new-somnox-support-2-0/
🔨 10/19: New Welcome Screen
In this update, we focused on improving the existing features of the mobile application. We directed our efforts on improving stability, performance and the first user experience.
– Brand new first-time experience with the Somnox Companion App
– Logging in and signing up user experience and interface has been improved
– Improved Bluetooth communication with Sleep Robot in terms of stability and performance
– When creating an account with Somnox, you will receive onboarding emails based on your phone’s language settings now
– Fixed bug where Serial Number registration prompt-up was unnecessary
– Fixed a crash when no account is logged in somehow
– Sleep Robot updates can now be performed on the background
– Fixed a bug where performing a Sleep Robot update for the second time would result in a crash
– Fixed some translations issues
Important: Don’t swipe away the update notification on your Android phone, because this disrupts the update. Wondering how the notification will look like? See the image down below.
📱 08/19: Status Screen
During the feedback rounds in the past month, you asked us to display more valuable information about your Sleep Robot. In the past month, we have focused on delivering exactly that. We’re introducing the Somnox Status Screen, displaying:
– The battery status of the Sleep Robot
– The firmware update changelog of the Sleep Robot
– The installed software version of the Sleep Robot
Next to that, we did some behind-the-scenes maintenance to make the app more stable. At last, we’ve improved our support in German 🇩🇪.
🔋 07/19: Battery Improvements
The July 2019 update introduced the low power mode: once your Sleep Robot is turned off, it will consume 50% less battery than before. This creates an overall battery life improvement of around 20%.
✨ 06/19: Adaptive Breathing
The June 2019 update introduced a beta version of the Adaptive Breathing: your Sleep Robot will measure your breathing speed and automatically synchronizes itself to you. After this, it will gradually bring you to a slower and more relaxed breathing pattern. How to turn it on? Just enable the button on your Breathing home screen.
✨ 06/19: New Design
In the June 2019 update, we did a big overhaul on our Companion App design.
We’ve updated the design to:
Help you find the right settings straight away
Change the overall mood and atmosphere
Improve the readability for use during the evening
We did this by doing extensive research and create a more useful and intuitive navigation experience in the app. Next to that, we’ve added new icons and engaging illustrations to support you to use the app more intuitively.
🎵 06/19: Upload your own music
Because everyone has a different taste, we added the ability to upload your own music, audiobooks, podcasts or any other audio file to your Sleep Robot. You can learn how to do that by following the guide by clicking here.
Similar to development of the Sleep Robot, the design of the app is a process of many iterations. Starting from the basic functionality: setting the breathing movement of the sleep robot and audio settings towards creating a personal tool that helps you understanding the Sleep Robot and improving your sleep habits. In this blog, I want to explain the challenges in our design process.
The app will be used to set the different functionalities of the Sleep Robot to the user’s preference: the breathing movement and audio options. A brief introduction to both.
Someone’s breathing rate depends on physical and mental state as well habits. Some examples:
Professional athletes often breathe at a slower pace compared to those who never exercise.
Those who smoke a lot or consume high amounts of caffeine are more likely to breathe at a higher frequency
The level of stress is one of the most important variables for breathing rate. You might have experienced a stressful situation in which you noticed your breathing becoming faster or irregular, or even started to hyperventilate.
Thus, since the breathing rate is dependent on many different personal aspects, we want to provide the user with the possibility to adjust this setting. Next to that, there’s the breathing ‘ratio’, which is often described as a certain ‘pattern’ or implemented in a breathing exercise. Normally, you inhale, exhale and have a natural ‘pause’ in before you inhale again. When enlarging the duration of the exhalation, body and mind will relax.
These patterns have been implemented in breathing techniques as well. Do you know the breathing exercise of Dr. Andrew Weil? It’s slightly different with a pause in between the in- and exhale. By focusing on this pattern, people often fall asleep within no time. You might want to try that one tonight.
We are working on integrating different breathing patterns (created by experts and based on literature) as well. Do you think you want to use a validated pattern or create your own? We’d like to hear your preference. This feature will be included in a later update of the app.
There are tons of music genres and everyone has a different preference. Personally I like jazz, but you might like classical music, the latest pop-hits or easy listening.. Does it make you fall asleep? I like to listen to a bedtime story, while my mother likes to listen to Chopin’s piano pieces.
Since everyone’s preference is so different, we cannot provide standard audio settings along with the breathing settings. Therefore, we will integrate playlists with music and sounds that, based on research, be relaxing and soothing to your ears and mind. We are currently co-developing a set of music samples, natural sounds (such as rain, wind and thunderstorms) and voice samples (such as someone that tells you random words that prevents your mind to think about personal issues, similar to the cognitive shuffling method by Dr. Luc Beaudoin).
Next to that, we want to provide you with the possibility to add your own music to the Sleep Robot’s SD card. Which music makes you fall asleep? Let us know!
We have been brainstorming and iterating on how to translate the above story into an understandable app design. We want to design an app that doesn’t overwhelm you, and still provide you with the possibility to adjust everything to your preference.
But do people want to adjust it, or do we have to tailor everything automatically? How do we find a balance between those who want to be guided and provided with standard settings, and those who want to be in control of every detail? Do we have to make different versions of the app (e.g. a basic- and advanced version), or keep it simple in general? And how to provide enough information in the app or via a manual?
All challenges are related to the user experience and interaction with app and robot. We have done many tests and interviews to find out what people want. Some responses:
“I want to practice the breathing techniques during the day as well”
“I want the robot to adjust to my own breathing rate”
“I love to listen to the sound of a storm in the rainforest, a playlist that I have found on Youtube”.
“It sounds weird, but I actually fall asleep by listening to rock music”
“Actually, I believe that silence has been proven the best to fall asleep”
Iterations And Testing
We have tried many things in our process of designing the companion app. Different colours, different configurations, different ways to present the settings. We iterate a lot and test the designs in our team and during user tests (do people understand the interfaces, do they like it or get lost?). We have invited future users to come over to Delft, present the new designs to friends and family and have seen the design developing over time.
Final Design Or An Ongoing Process?
Currently, we are working on the software implementation of the final design. The design is based on the Somnox brand identity (soft, comfortable and clear) and the user’s desires on how to set the robot. We will guide the user by asking about the purpose of use (do you want to sleep or have a relaxing moment?) and desired duration of the movement. Not satisfied about the Sleep Robot’s movement? You will always be able to customize the breathing rate. In the future, we aim to add options if the user’s desire is there.
Some (pipeline)-ideas: adjusting the colour theme, adjusting the breathing movement, an integrated sleep diary, breathing exercises.. What (else) would you like to use?
Of course, we have not tested this app with all future users of the Sleep Robot yet. We will keep on asking for feedback to make sure we will update it. I’m curious to your opinion, let us know what you think.
The world’s population is getting older, while anxiety and sleep deprivation are increasing issues in the society (Stranges et Al. 2012 | WHO, 2017). In the near future, the number of caregivers will be deficient to take care of the new generation of senior adults (World Alzheimer Report, 2013). At the same time, more and more institutions try to reduce their number of medication, open to try alternative solutions. After initial research in this area and showed interest from healthcare institutions, Somnox is now working on a further development of the sleep robot for better sleep and relaxation also in the healthcare.
This is where we come in; Sara and Camilla from Sweden. We are two Master Thesis workers, studying Industrial Design Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. Our aim is to redesign the sleep robot in a way that it easily can be implemented in the healthcare.
We started off our work with a pre-study of patient groups that we saw could benefit from the sleep robot. People with an anxiety disorder, neuropsychiatric disorder and physical disability were a few of the patient groups that we found potential. To better understand the user, we chose to focus on one specific target group, where we decided to look further into people with dementia. This is a critical patient group that sets high requirements for the design, which is positive since it can cover other patient groups’ demands as well. In addition, several elderly cares in the Netherlands had already shown significant interest of the sleep robot.
The target group: Elderly with dementia
Dementia includes different types of diseases, where Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. There are around 50 million people living with this condition worldwide and every three seconds, someone develops Dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2015). The illustration below describes the most common symptoms that we have to consider when redesigning the sleep robot for this target group.
Testing the sleep robot: A variety of interpretations
In order to spot improvements and opportunities for the development, we tested the current sleep robot with people with dementia in healthcare facilities in Sweden and in the Netherlands, during both day and night. Our aim of the tests was to observe their reactions and to understand how the sleep robot can be incorporated in the routines in the healthcare facility. We did not validate the effects of the sleep robot on their sleep, as it requires a longer implementation process and more test nights.
The sleep robot was used in several positions and many elderly found it to be very interesting to interact with.
The reactions from the test persons were amazing for our study! We observed a great variety of interpretations and ways of using the product. The abstract shape got many names from the elderly, such as a child, pig and a pillow. The interesting insight from the observations was that many test persons stopped their habitual twitching from motoric anxiety and interacted calmly with the sleep robot, which shows a great potential.
The redesign: A simple, safe and hygienic priority
We are currently working on implementing our findings from the research in a redesign of the product. We started off this phase by ideating on over 70 different solutions that were further iterated. Now we have a number of solutions that we want to narrow down to one concept through prototyping and evaluation.
The design phase includes sketching, rapid prototyping and feedback sessions with the research team at Somnox and nurses from elderly cares.
During the redesign, we are also focusing on how to use the sleep robot for relaxation during the day. Many individuals with dementia experience motoric anxiety during daytime and seek stimulation in objects to calm down. Therefore, we have to make the sleep robot safe to not enable them to unintentionally open up the sleep robot. Simultaneously, we see a potential in using the sleep robot for releasing their motoric anxiety by intentionally adding a calming material or tactile detail that they can fidget with. Using the sleep robot during daytime requires another shape that can be balanced better in the user’s knee.
Lastly, we need to consider the caregivers in the design solution and make sure that the interaction is easy for them. Here we are especially looking at the maneuvering, charging, hygiene and storage of the product. Additionally, we want to make the maneuvering accessible for relatives and next of kin when used outside the healthcare facility.
Our next step is to fine-tune the concept that we find most promising. We hope that the future of this sleep robot will reduce anxiety and improve sleep of elderly with dementia as well as other patients. In a long-term perspective, we also hope that we can reduce the workload for caregivers.
At the 14th of November 2017, we launched our Kickstarter, an exciting moment for all of us. But we didn’t get her in a day. Lots of exciting moments happened in the past 2 years after Julian, Job, Wouter and Stijn met each other for the first time. Read our story here. Have fun!
1st of September 2015, Robotics Lab, Delft University of Technology
We, Wouter, Julian, Job and Stijn, met each other for the first time in the robotics institute of the Delft University of Technology. In 6 months time, we took on the challenge to develop a robot. But we approached it from a different angle: we set out not to develop the stereotypical rough, cold industrial robot but rather a soft, cuddly one. Meanwhile, we saw family members and friends suffer from sleep deprivation. Some of them tried ‘solutions’, but these were far from ideal and unable to truly help them. That’s when we decided to develop something that would actually make a difference.
28th of January 2016, Faculty of Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology
Our first prototype is finished. With a real-life breathing simulation, relaxing music, and a comfortable feel we proudly presented our first prototype to the world! With a huggable robot appropriate for the size of an average Dutch guy, we made quite an impression. In the following weeks, we got dozens of emails of people wanting to test our prototype and even the Dutch media showed some interest in it: Vice, RTL, AD, BNR, and many other contacted us to for interviews.
28th of June 2016, Main Hall, Yes!Delft Incubator
We decided to pause our studies to fully focus on Somnox. After an intense planning session at Julian’s home, we scheduled a meeting with Yes!Delft, the no. 4 Tech Incubator of Europe. That’s where we first heard of the EIT Health Launchlab, a pressure cooker that could help us build a business plan around our idea. Seven days later we were selected, woohoo! After 3 months of entrepreneurial workshops, projects, and a road trip through Europe, it was time to work towards our Kickstarter. But first, we needed an office and of course some resources to fulfill our dream of bringing sleep to many.
3rd of February 2017, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Time for some testing! At the beginning of 2017, it was time to put our sleep robot up to the test. A new prototype was developed, just focussing on a silent, realistic, breathing rhythm, to see how people responded. 15 lucky test sleepers had the chance to try out one of our earlier prototypes. With the feedback from this testing round we had lots to work on, but we knew we were on the right track. We found out it had to be smaller, softer, more silent and we need to include music. That was the start of eventual months of testing and iteration.
14th of November 2017, All over the world!
After finishing our latest prototypes, building 10 sleep robots, and successfully accomplishing our latest testing round, we now need your help. Support our Kickstarter and together we can bring the world better sleep! Visit our Kickstarter here: Click here!