Amazon.com Inc. has won U.S. permission to use radar to monitor consumers’ sleep habits. The Federal Communications Commission granted Amazon.com Inc. approval to use a radar sensor to sense motion and “enable contactless sleep tracing functionalities.”
- Permission: Amazon on June 22 asked the FCC, which regulates airwave uses, for permission to market a device that uses radar. The technology captures movement in three dimensions, enabling a user to control its features through simple gestures and movements, the company said in a filing.
- Improve awareness: “The use of Radar Sensors in sleep tracking could improve awareness and management of sleep hygiene, which in turn could produce significant health benefits for many Americans,” Amazon said in its filing. “Radar Sensors will allow consumers to recognize potential sleep issues.”
- Permission granted: The FCC permitted Amazon’s request based on a prior decision it made for radar technology developed by Google. “We find that Amazon’s Radar Sensor when used for the specific types of applications that Amazon has described, is sufficiently analogous to the situations we evaluated for the Google Soli radar for us to reach the same conclusion here,” the FCC said.
- Smooth operation: Google’s Soli radar allows for contactless device control and is intended for users with mobility, speech, and tactile impairments. “The power level under which the Amazon Radar Sensor will be permitted to operate will be the same as we previously permitted in the Google Waiver. And, as with Google’s devices, Amazon’s radars will be used to capture motion in a discrete space that is characterized by a short distance between the radar and what it is sensing.”
- Availability: The radar features would only be available in “non-mobile” devices when they’re connected to a power source, which could relate to reports that Amazon is quietly building sleep apnea-detecting technology in its Alexa devices.