On June 11th, 1997, Philippe Kahn created the first camera phone solution to share pictures instantly on public networks. The impetus for this invention was the birth of Kahn's daughter, when he jerry-rigged a mobile phone with a digital camera and sent photos in real time. In 2016 Time Magazine included Kahn's first camera phone photo in their list of the 100 most influential photos of all time.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The short film, “1997: The Birth of the Camera Phone,” has been selected as both a Vimeo Staff Pick and as a featured film on the Short of the Week website. Created by Conscious Minds, the film depicts how technology innovator Philippe Kahn (currently CEO of Fullpower Technologies) instantly shared the first camera phone photo of the birth of his daughter. That iconic photo was included in Time Magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential photos of all time.
“I was fascinated by the rather odd story of that day in the hospital when all the components of his project finally came together,” said Jonathan Ignatius Green, the director of the film. “It seemed like a true story that you wouldn’t believe if you saw it in a movie. That’s my favorite kind.”
“While we didn’t even realize the Conscious Minds team had created the film until we saw the final product, it captures that momentous day amazingly well,” said Kahn, the creator of the camera phone. “It is a great honor to have this film chosen as short-of-the-week and to reflect twenty years later how the camera phone has been a game changer for society in so many ways.”
The film can be viewed on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/221117048 or the Short of the Week website at https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2017/07/24/birth-camera-phone/.
Philippe Kahn is currently CEO of Fullpower Technologies, a startup focused on improving sleep through the AI-powered cloud-based IoT Sleeptracker® platform that has been commercially deployed by three leading bedding brands, Beautyrest, Serta, and Tomorrow Sleep.
More information and previous films from Conscious Minds can be found on their website at http://www.weare.cm.
About Fullpower Technologies, Inc.
Fullpower is the leader for cloud-based IoT smart-home and wearable solutions powered by AI, machine-learning and data science. With more than 125 patents, the Fullpower IP portfolio covers the AI-powered Sleeptracker® and the MotionX® IoT technology platforms. Fullpower’s business model is to license technology and IP as a PaaS to brand leaders such as Nike, Beautyrest®, Serta®, Movado® and others. Founded by Philippe Kahn, creator of the first camera phone, and based in Silicon Valley, the Fullpower team is passionate about AI, machine learning, IoT and PII.
Fullpower Technologies, Inc.
Twenty years ago, at the Sutter Maternity Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., while his wife was in labor, Philippe Kahn hacked together a Motorola StarTAC flip phone, a Casio QV digital camera that took 320 by 240 pixel images, and a Toshiba 430CDT laptop computer. When he took a picture with the camera, the system would automatically dial up his Web server and upload the picture to it at 1200 baud. The server would send email alerts to a list of friends and family, who could then log on and view the photo.
It wasn’t a brand new concept for Kahn; he’d spent about a year working on a Web-based infrastructure that he called Picture Mail. Picture Mail would do what we now call “sharing”—that is, one user would upload a photo and text, designated as something to share with a particular list of contacts (say, “friends,” “family,” or “colleagues”). The system would send email notifications to everyone at that list, directing them to visit the host Web page to view the picture. Kahn says he was aiming to be the Polaroid of the 21st century, providing “Instant Picture Mail” that would be a digital update of Polaroid’s vision of the instant camera.
What he hadn’t gotten around to building was the consumer hardware piece of the puzzle. Photography wasn’t going to be instant if you had to hook your camera up to your computer and go to a particular website every time you took a picture.
“I had always wanted to have this all working in time to share my daughter’s birth photo,” Kahn recalls, “but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.”
Thanks to his wife spending 18 hours in labor at the local maternity center, he had a little time to build the prototype. He realized he had most of what he needed with him—in particular, the phone’s car kit, including a plug that allowed the phone to connect to a car speaker system. For the rest of what he needed, he asked an assistant to make a run to Radio Shack and drop off the additional gear at the hospital.
“It’s always the case that if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done,” Kahn says.
Kahn got it working before the baby came, and 11 June 1997 has gone down in history as the birth of a whole new world.
Some call this milestone the beginning of the camera phone. It’s not exactly that; Kahn acknowledges that others had put photo sensors in phones before. And it’s also not the first time someone sent someone else a digital photo on the Internet. But it was the first time that a photo went from one person to a broad list of his friends and family members instantly, with just a touch of a button. Kahn now calls the milestone Instant Share, and points out that this is the way social media still works today—you upload an image once to a site that stores it, and then notifications are broadcast and people follow a link back to the stored image.
Today, of course, instant sharing of photos—evolving to videos—is everywhere. It’s the idea behind Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Live. It has changed the way we connect with our friends and the world, and changed the way we experience things. For many, it’s hard to put the phone down and watch something interesting without sharing an image. Camera phones have even spawned dystopian visions of a world in which everything is shared, as in “The Circle.”
All this, looking back, seemed to grow organically. But, according to Kahn, that wasn’t exactly the case. He had to do a lot of plowing to prepare the soil, to extend the metaphor.
“After the baby,” he says, “I spent the next month integrating the design, using a microcontroller, a CMOS sensor, and a phone.” In early 1998, he founded a company around the technology, Lightsurf, and eventually received a handful of patents on the work, he recalls.
He took the technology, he says, “to Kodak, Polaroid, and [other camera companies]; they all had wireless camera projects, but none of them could imagine that the future was digital photography inside the phone, with Instant-Picture-Mail software and service infrastructure. They collectively came to the conclusion that phones would be focused on voice—this was before texting—and that cameras would become wireless.”
Having struck out in the U.S., Kahn moved on to pitch Japanese companies. He had no luck with dominant mobile phone service provider Docomo, but found enthusiasm at J-Phone. J-Phone, he says, then brought in Sharp to design their “Sha-Mail” (translated as “Picture-Mail”) phone, and the product was a success.
Back in the U.S., Wired magazine covered Kahn and LightSurf, prompting Sprint to contact him; Sprint worked with LightSurf and Casio to launch the first U.S. camera phone in 2002.
Even from the early days, Kahn says, he had a sense that instant photo sharing really was going to change the world. “Citizen journalism immediately came to mind; we were documenting the birth of my daughter, but that was just the beginning.” He believed that other, more political events would be documented, “and it has happened. People can’t hide things anymore. There is always someone with a camera phone taking a video; people can’t just claim that something didn’t happen.”
Bob Parks, who interviewed Kahn for the Wired article in 2000, confirms Kahn’s prescience. Parks says: “He was telling me things like, ‘In the future people will document crimes using video on their phones. Then everyone will know the real story.’ At the time I was skeptical. I thought, ‘OK, guy, I guess we’ll see how that works out.’”
For Kahn personally, the invention worked out quite well: LightSurf was acquired by Verisign in 2005 for approximately $270 million, the intellectual property scattered in later sales and, Kahn said, was tussled over in courts. Kahn is no longer involved with the technology—he has a new startup, FullPower Technologies, that has developed under-the-mattress sensors and cloud based artificial intelligence to gather data and personalize recommendations to help customers improve their sleep. But he’s thrilled watching phone-based photo sharing explode around the world.
“If you go to Africa, people don’t have laptops. They have phones with cameras and they do everything with them—sell things, buy things, telemedicine. If a person’s house burns down these days, their pictures aren’t lost, their memories are stored in the cloud. I see tourists with selfie-sticks and I think it’s fantastic, the more cameras the better. It’s a fantastic power to be in the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Everyone.”
And that rush to cobble together a prototype in the maternity room? Absolutely worth it, Kahn says: “The picture of my daughter’s birth was a magical, unique, instant moment and worth a million words.”
(Kahn narrates a reenactment of the birth in the video below; the building of the prototype starts at 1:35.)
Twenty years ago Sunday, Philippe and Sonya Kahn spent 18 hours at a hospital in Santa Cruz, waiting for their baby Sophie to be born. Like nearly all expectant fathers, Philippe Kahn planned to take a picture of the new baby but, instead of waiting till he got home to distribute the photo to friends online, he wanted to do it directly from the hospital. But that was in 1997 when there were no camera phones. So he invented one.
Kahn, who previously founded Borland International and Starfish Software, had already configured a home server to store images, automatically notify friends about new images and send them a link so they could view them via the web. But there was no way to get the pictures to the server directly from a camera.
Philippe Kahn took the first ever cell phone picture of his then-newborn daughter Sophie in Santa Cruz County.
Kahn had a Casio QV-10, the first consumer-grade digital camera with an LCD display that, he said, “made pixelated but nice 320 by 240 pictures.” He also had a Motorola StarTAC “flip” phone, so during Sonia’s 18 hours of labor, he thought about finding a way to connect the two so he could upload a picture of the baby directly from the hospital.
“It was clear that I had a hardware problem. Short of taking the phone apart I needed to interface with the phone,” he said in an interview.
He also needed to connect a laptop to control the camera/phone connection. Phones then couldn’t connect to either laptops or cameras but – as he pondered the problem – he remembered he had a StarTAC speaker phone kit in his car which, of course, could connect to the phone. With his wife’s blessing, he “literally ran down to my car, took out the whole speaker phone kit and started working frantically at creating a software/firmware/hardware interface” that enabled him to send the pictures from the laptop, which was connected to both the camera and the phone.
As luck would have it, he finished this Rube Goldberg device just in time for the arrival of Sophie and snapped what was not only Sophie’s first picture, but the first picture taken by what eventually evolved into the camera phone.
Kahn’s server sent links to this image to friends, family and colleagues and he started hearing from people who were impressed at how quickly he got this picture from the hospital to their screens, which made him realize he had a potential product.
“Immediately it became clear that we needed a CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) sensor and a micro controller unit integrated in phones. So we built these prototypes that were interfaced with the exact software/server/service-infrastructure,” he said.
With a prototype in hand, Kahn tried to convince the CEOs of Kodak and Polaroid to create an integrated phone and camera “but none of them could imagine that the phone would be the integrating device.” He said that they “hired consultants, market pundits and they all collectively came to the conclusion that phones would be focused on voice and that cameras would become wireless.” Both Kodak and Polaroid later went bankrupt.
“They totally missed the paradigm shift,” said Kahn.
Unable to find a partner in the U.S., Kahn took his idea to Japan but had no success with big players like NTT Docomo. But he did find interest from a small carrier called J-Phone, which, in 1999 partnered with Sharp along with Kahn’s company LightSurf, to design a “Picture-Mail phone.” In 2002 Kahn’s company worked with Sprint and Casio on the first U.S. camera phone.
Sprint loaned me one of those first phones to review. I picked it up at their office on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and, after leaving the office, I found a parking ticket on my car. Convinced that it was an unjust ticket, I used the phone to document my surroundings to prove why I shouldn’t have to pay the fine. The Los Angeles Parking Citations Bureau disagreed and I didn’t bother to appeal, but it nevertheless convinced me of the power of always having a camera in your pocket.
Today, I routinely use my camera phone to help me remember where I park my car. I take pictures of luggage tags, receipts and the price tags of items I’m thinking of buying. Of course, like most people, I also use my phone to photograph people, animals and scenery. Truth be told, the pictures I take with my smartphone often look just as good as the ones I take with my $1,000 camera.
Kahn’s current company, Santa Cruz-based Fullpower, develops cloud-based technology to power sleep tracking, analog smartwatches and other “Internet of Things” products.
Both my kids were born before Kahn built that camera phone so I wasn’t able to use a phone to transmit pictures of my kids’ births in near real time. But millions of fathers have since instantly shared pictures of their newborns to loved ones far and near. Happy 20th birthday to both the camera phone and Sophie Kahn.
Border Terrier, ready any time for anything: Maximizes Sleep Opportunities
Yes, Fido can teach us humans a lot about sleep. For dogs and humans our scientific approach to analyzing sleep cycles shows us that dogs and humans have similar sleep cycles but that dogs are much more opportunistic in finding opportunities to nap than humans.
We co-evolved with Fido for at least 25,000 years and given the reality of genetics and epigenetics our sleep cycles are similar. Yet our sleep patterns are slightly different. Ballistocardiographs have shown correlation between the study or micro-motions of the human wrist with sleep cycles in humans. That is also true for dogs. When we watch our dogs sleep we observe similar phenomena: Fido twitches her legs as she runs/dreams, snores, growls and smiles through her naps. Fido is really great fun to watch and shows those micro “wrist movements” characteristic of REM sleep and other phases of sleep in humans. Further analysis of brain waves shows similar patterns too.
Of course dog sleeping patterns are a little different than humans. The main differences are in Fido’s sleeping habits. In general Fido is a better sleeper than most humans and a very smart opportunistic sleeper.
Research shows that “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is the simplest way for humans to improve sleep, and our best friends can help guide us to better quality sleep. Of course, first we must understand sleep, and there is no better way to understand sleep than to quantify sleep with a solution such as the Sleeptracker.com Monitor. The Sleeptracker monitor gives you a comprehensive daily “Sleep-Score”, analysis and personalized coaching insights to improve sleep quality without changing any of your bedding or habits, completely non-invasively, in the privacy of your home. For us humans it’s essential to quantify first in order to form a good understanding of where we stand and what our goals can be.
And now with a good quantified view of our sleep, watching Fido carefully can complement our quantification with practical cognitive behavioral therapy practical advice.
First question: How much sleep does a dog get (and how much sleep does a dog need?)
Dogs are opportunistic in their sleep patterns. They get all the sleep that they can get when they can get it. They are always ready for any canine future. This is what we can learn from Fido: If there is an opportunity to nap, even for 10 minutes, Fido will. Intuitively dogs feel this. Fido is ready to go for a walk any time, well rested, full of energy. At 5 pm or 3 am, Fido has the same enthusiasm for a walk. On the other hand, we humans are generally not ready to go for a brisk walk at 3 am an get back to bed. That’s because we are all chronically sleep deprived, perhaps partly because we are all missing the opportunities that we may have to “recharge”during the day. Practically, to get some regenerative sleep, we need as little as 10 minutes and 45 minutes is about a complete sleep cycle and wonderful. But we always have “something better to do”. Facebook never sleeps! (But better sleep habits can make us “better at Facebook”!)
Depending on your dog’s size she may need more or less sleep. In general smaller breeds like Border Terriers need less sleep than larger breeds like St. Bernards that may need as much as 18 hours of sleep a day. This article is based on my practical work for the last 5 years with several Border Terriers as well as published research. Border Terriers are athletic and very smart working dogs, bred for their abilities and seem to have a functional and instinctive approach to most of what they do. They are working dogs and they are ready to work hard. And they sleep about 12 hours a day in the aggregate on the average, with limitless energy for hunting rats or taking endless walks/runs on the beach any time of the day or night.
Second Question: How much sleep do human’s need?
Practically as much as sleep as humans can get. We are busy with family, work, hobbies, exercise, Facebook and our sleep budgets are shrinking.
From a CBT perspective we need to learn from Fido:
Be as opportunistic to nap as possible.
From a sleep quality standpoint we need to:
Improve our Sleep Score using advanced non-invasive quantified-self tools such as the Sleeptracker.com Monitor.
By making simple little CBT changes such as eating less before bed and avoiding carbohydrates, drinking that last glass of water 30 minutes earlier, burning that extra stored energy by working out with more intensity (Long leisurely walks are great for the soul but don’t do much for the body) etc…
Yes, one last thing: High Intensity Exercise Can Help Sleep Quality and recovery.
Take a look at Fido, go for a one hour leisurely walk. Great smells great experience, meet other canines and humans. But once Fido gets home, Fido is ready to play ball and run and sprint and do ludic intervals. Then Fido crash into deep sleep. That’s CBT right there. I need not say more!
PS For our Cat loving friends, sleep cycles and patterns are fairly similar. Cats tend to sleep even more than dogs and when cats play and hunt it tends to really be HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). They are now focused and ready to go at it for as long as it takes and then, deep restful sleep!
Philippe Kahn, a French entrepreneur, was waiting for his baby daughter to be born when he hit upon the inspiration for the world’s first camera-photo.
It was a summer evening in 1997, and Philippe Kahn was anxiously waiting for his daughter Sophie to be born. Desiring to share her birth instantly with family and friends, he conceived what would become the world’s first camera phone. The Internet was only four years old and only good for simple email with limited wireless connection. So he bought a Casio QV-10 digital camera and inserted it into a Motorola Startac phone. When Sophie was born, her photo became the first ever camera-phone image, something that, 20 years on, we take for granted.
Newborn Sophie Kahn — the person who inspired the first camera phone.
Now Kahn runs several companies, including Fullpower, founded in 2003, which provides a patented ecosystem for wearables and Internet of Things products. The inspiration for his main product, the Sleeptracker Monitor, stems from Kahn’s passion for sailing — he owns a team called Pegasus Racing. During a demanding race that means sailors have less than an hour’s sleep in a 24-hour period, Kahn began experimenting with biosensors and three-axis linear accelerometers that could detect micro-movements. Kahn created prototype sleep trackers using biosensors that optimised 26-minute power naps to maximise sleep benefits and sail time.
Bedding Industry’s First Stand-Alone Sleep Monitoring Device Empowers Individuals to Optimize Daily Performance
(ATLANTA, Ga. – March 21, 2017) – The Beautyrest Brand is proud to introduce the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor – a patented sleep monitoring system that pairs with any mattress or foundation, allowing individuals to make their bed a smart bed. This non-invasive breakthrough device is the bedding industry’s first stand-alone solution to monitor a broad range of factors affecting high-quality sleep for two individuals simultaneously. Offering an unprecedented level of accuracy, the monitor is 90 percent accurate when measuring heart rate and breathing rate for the vast majority of the population, 90 percent of the time.
“As one of the most trusted and recognizable bedding brands nationwide, we are proud to embrace the smart home movement with technology that provides a deeper understanding of how we sleep,” said Jim Gallman, Executive Vice President, Beautyrest Marketing. “The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor allows consumers to optimize their sleep habits and make improvements that can have dramatic implications for their overall quality of life.”
The monitor provides consumers with an in-depth analysis of each user’s sleep ecosystem – including current behaviors, comparisons to biometrical similar users and personalized tips to help them perform better every day. By analyzing a variety of sleep variables, it also provides personalized recommendations and expert insights designed to improve daily performance. While everyone has an individual definition of what performance means, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor enables users to get the optimal sleep necessary to accomplish whatever may come in the day ahead – whether that is a full day at the office, managing a complex family schedule or even running a marathon.
“The Sleeptracker artificial intelligence (AI) engine represents a dramatic improvement over other sleep monitoring devices, and is the result of significant resources invested in research and development,” said Arthur Kinsolving, Chief Technology Officer of Fullpower Technologies, Inc., the technology partner of the Beautyrest Brand. “With the power of AI and machine learning, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor will continue to stretch its lead and deliver unprecedented deep insights into consumers’ sleep patterns.”
According to the Better Sleep Council, “a good night’s sleep sets the optimal stage for, not only physical, but also mental performance. If you are well rested, you will approach social, professional, and physical challenges in the most advantageous state of mind and body.” The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor will provide individuals with a new understanding of what is keeping them up at night while also offering easy-to-implement solutions that recognize long-term trends and become more personalized over time.
The Beautyrest Sleeptracker® Monitor Benefits and Features:
- The only device in its class that can monitor sleep patterns of two individual sleepers simultaneously due to an advanced AI engine
- While wearables must be worn on the body and charged regularly, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor plugs directly into a wall outlet, is completely non-invasive and requires no changes to day-to-day bedding
- Patented system that accurately measures both respiration and heart rate for deeper sleep analysis (wrist-worn wearables can’t monitor the essential respiration vital sign and are notoriously inaccurate for continuous heart rate monitoring)
- Can be set to automatically monitor sleep data when users fall asleep unexpectedly
- Pairs with the Sleeptracker iOS and Android smartphone app to offer an unprecedented level of detail – providing users with a minute-by-minute snapshot of their journey through each sleep cycle: light sleep, deep sleep and REM
- Features a Sleep Cycle Alarm that detects a light stage of sleep in order to wake users at the ideal time in their sleep cycle
- Offers an AI Sleep Coach that monitors improvement over time and provides effective, easy-to-implement, personal sleep tips based on a comprehensive analysis of individual sleep patterns and external factors that may impact sleep quality
- Integrates with Amazon Echo – soon allowing control of other smart home elements from a single device, such as thermostats, lights, music, alarm systems, door locks and more
The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is compatible with all mattresses and foundations (results may vary depending on the type of mattress and foundation used) and is available on Amazon.com for $199. The Sleeptracker app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. Visit Beautyrest.com for more information and to find a retailer near you.
About Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC
Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC (SSB) owns and manages two of the largest bedding brands in the mattress industry National Bedding Company L.L.C. (the largest licensee and majority shareholder of Serta, Inc.) and Simmons Bedding Company, LLC. SSB is based in Atlanta and operates 33 manufacturing plants in the United States, five in Canada and one in Puerto Rico. Its subsidiary, National Bedding Company L.L.C., is based in suburban Chicago and markets a broad range of products under the Serta® brand, including Perfect Sleeper®, iComfort®, iSeries®, Sertapedic® and a portfolio of licensed products. In addition to National Bedding Company L.L.C., Serta, Inc. has five other independent licensees in the United States and one in Canada that manufacture and market Serta-branded products. SSB’s other subsidiary, Simmons Bedding Company, LLC, is based in Atlanta and markets a broad range of products including Beautyrest®, Beautyrest Black® and BeautySleep®. Both companies also serve as key suppliers of beds to many of the world’s leading hotel groups and resort properties.
About Fullpower Technologies, Inc.
Fullpower is the leader for cloud-based IoT smart-home and wearable solutions powered by AI, machine-learning and data science. With more than 125 patents, the Fullpower IP portfolio covers the AI-powered Sleeptracker® and the MotionX® IoT technology platforms. Fullpower’s business model is to license technology and IP as a PaaS to brand leaders such as Nike, Beautyrest, Serta, Movado and others. Founded by Philippe Kahn, creator of the first camera-phone, and based in Silicon Valley, the Fullpower team is passionate about AI, machine learning, IoT and PII.
Beautyrest Press Contacts:
Hunter Public Relations on behalf of Beautyrest Blake Kaufman firstname.lastname@example.org
(212) 679-6600 x 41-228
Beautyrest Public Relations
Sensor-fusion is at the heart of our work at Fullpower together with AI, Machine Learning and Sleep and ambulatory sciences.
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Introduction: As my colleague Mark Christensen and I were sailing across oceans double-handed (just two of us on a fast high tech sailboat), chasing and beating records, we discovered that we were both so busy that neither of us slept much more than 30 minutes at a time for weeks on end. And it worked. I mean we were performing. Why did it work? We decided to use the scientific method and to build sleep monitors and a software system that would monitor both our sleep and wake performance.
What we learned defied common wisdom. Mark and I were back in an evolutionary environment with no constraints but that of Mother Nature, and our whole beings were adapting and shedding all sorts of misconceptions. Just like intermittent fasting makes us healthier, there is magic to understanding sleep budgeting and optimization. Here I share some of our findings based on over 100,000 nautical miles sailed across oceans around the world.
I hope that you find this first installment useful and look forward to your feedback.
Your Sleeptracker® statistics and what is “normal”
Preface: We are all different. However we can learn a lot from the Sleeptracker® community, comparing our own sleep to “people like me” to help us gain a better understanding of our sleep. So these “normal” values and ranges simply reflect Sleeptracker® stats for 90% of the population, 90% of the time. If you are an elite athlete or have a chronic condition you may find yourself out of range for some of the stats. It’s important to understand where you are and make small improvements over time. Be patient with yourself.
Total Sleep is not the time spent in bed, but the time when you were actually asleep. A restful night’s sleep for most people ranges from 6 to 9 hours. Statistically, females on average tend to sleep a little more than males. Everyone is different. What counts is how rested you feel and making small improvements. For example, if you find initially you sleep for 6 hours on average, try to set your goal for 6 hours 15 minutes. Iterate until you feel more rested.
Time to Sleep is the time elapsed between starting a sleep recording and actually falling asleep. If you fall asleep in less then 3 minutes you are probably sleep deprived. If it takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep (once you’ve decided to fall asleep, not if you are simply reading a great book), it would be good to look at factors which can impact time to sleep such as when and what you ate and drank before bed, caffeine consumption, and how much exercise you’ve had and when that occurred. It helps to finish eating and drinking a couple of hours before bed, stretch your muscles, and keep your bedroom cool and quiet.
Light Sleep, REM Sleep and Deep Sleep: Sleep occurs in waves, with a crest called REM (rapid eye movement) when we dream, and a trough called deep sleep when we are in maximum recovery mode, together with several intermediate stages. All stages of the “sleep wave” are necessary, and sleep typically comes in multiple waves. Depending on the individual, each wave of sleep lasts 45 to 90 minutes and and we experience between four to six waves of sleep (complete cycles) per night. The highest percentage of deep sleep is experienced during the earlier waves.
Awake time displays how long your “awake events” are during the night. Often, we don’t even remember some of these awake events if they are short. However if you are awake for more than 12 minutes, it may be a good idea to get up and do something relaxing. Pascal, Newton, Mozart, Debussy, Einstein, Nadia Boulanger and many other geniuses would actually sleep in “two shifts”: they called it “First Sleep”and “Second Sleep” and claim they did their best work in the middle of the night. That’s hard to do in a modern world with standardized work hours.
Wakeup displays the number of awake events you experienced during your sleep. If they are short, you may not remember them. Up to 3 to 5 awake events is quite normal and with young children or pets some of us experience several awake events each night.
Sleep Score (range 1 -100): Sleeptracker® makes it easy to rate your sleep from day one, with your “Sleep Score”. For example, there are people with a sleep score of 50 out of 100 initially, who after a few months of using Sleeptracker® improved their sleep score to 75, and continue to improve. The ideal sleeper will look for a sleep score of 90+ over time. But many healthy individuals function well at 75 or above.
Sleep Efficiency is the percentage of time spent sleeping. For example spending 8 hours in bed and 6 of those hours asleep is a sleep efficiency of 75%. Some people start at 50%, and after a few months reach a sleep efficiency of 75% and continue improving incrementally. With an 85% sleep efficiency or higher you are doing well.
Percentage of Sleep Goal: This is a great tool to incrementally increase your total sleep time. Set your initial sleep goal at a realistic time for you, then increase your goal by 10% until you beat it, then iterate. Unrealistic goals are demotivating. Small incremental wins are empowering.
Average Breathing Rate is the number of breaths you take per minute. Sleeptracker® measures your breathing rate continuously throughout the night and produces an easy to understand line graph. For healthy individuals between age 16 and 65, resting respiratory rate between 10-22 breaths per minute are considered normal. After about 67 years of age it’s common for respiration rate to increase by up to 20%. Snoring and sleep apnea affect breathing rate, as well as illness, pain or fever.
Average Heart Rate is the number of beats your heart takes in a minute. Sleeptracker® measures your heart rate continuously throughout the night and produces an easy to understand line graph. A heart rate between 40 and 85 is considered healthy. Snoring and sleep apnea affect heart rate, as well as alcohol, caffeine and sugar consumption, illness, pain or fever. Sleep is your recovery mechanism, and you will notice the more restful your sleep, the lower your heart rate when you wake up. Throughout the night as sleep rebuilds your body, your heart rate decreases in small steady increments.
What is sleep and why do we, and mammals, sleep?
Sleep is the recovery mechanism for all of us. It’s when we rebuild our bodies, our muscles, cleanse our organs, and rewire our brain. Sleep is necessary. The Sleeptracker® monitor helps us understand and improve our sleep. Here is an example: Sleeptracker® will automatically measure your heart rate through the night, and you can see that as your cardiovascular system repairs and rebuilds during sleep, by the morning your resting heart rate is often significantly lower for a healthy individual.
How do I sleep?
Sleeptracker® makes it easy to rate my sleep from day one, with your “Sleep Score”. For example, there are people with a sleep score of 50 out of 100 initially who after a few months of using Sleeptracker® improved their sleep score to 75, and continue to improve after that. The ideal sleeper will look for a sleep score of 90+ over time. But many healthy individuals function well at 75 or above.
What does how I sleep mean?
Practically, how we sleep in the long-term has an important impact on how we perform at work or at the gym, on our mood, and on our overall health.
What are sleep cycles, and how do they affect my sleep?
Sleep occurs in waves, with a crest called REM (rapid eye movement) when we dream, and a trough called deep sleep when we are in maximum recovery mode, together with several intermediate stages. All those stages of the “sleep wave” are necessary, and sleep typically comes in multiple waves. Depending on the individual, each wave of sleep lasts 45 to 90 minutes and and we experience between four to six waves of sleep (complete cycles) per night. The highest percentage of deep sleep is experienced during the earlier waves.
What does it mean to improve my sleep?
The consequences of improving sleep are profound and measurable over time, even as we age. Improving sleep means improving overall health, work and physical performance, mood, and even relationships. There are only upsides to improving your sleep.
How can I personally improve my sleep?
You can improve your sleep by making small incremental changes. The power of Sleeptracker® is that we can quantify the effect of these little changes, and the Sleeptracker® AI-powered engine will deliver personalized insights based on your own sleep performance, as well as based on the sleep performance of “people like you” who are part of the Sleeptracker® community.
Can I really improve my sleep that much with Sleeptracker®?
In a nutshell, yes! Let us consider the amount of time that we, as humans, sleep. We sleep for a third of our life. At the same time, we live in a sleep deprived world. Due to the demands of our modern world, it’s not feasible to increase the amount of time we spend in bed attempting to sleep. Instead, we need to better understand our habits to improve the efficiency, performance, and overall quality of our sleep. Now consider a night where you spend 8 hours in bed, but only sleep for six of those hours; your sleep efficiency is 75%. If we increase that efficiency by only 13 percent, your six hours of sleep becomes seven hours. This increase gains you a full hour of sleep. Sleeptracker® can help you improve the quality of your seep so you can sleep more, and sleep better.
What happens in the first 30 days when I use Sleeptracker®?
From the first day you start monitoring your sleep, Sleeptracker® will be helpful. Yet, the first step to understanding how to sleep better is understanding how you sleep. In the first 30 days of use, Sleeptracker® gets to know you, gives you personalized insights to help you improve your own sleep over time, and understands how you are sleeping compared to “people like you”.
What does periodization of sleep mean?
By carefully analyzing several million nights of sleep of Mr. and Ms. Everyone, Sleeptracker® has come to the conclusion that sleep performance comes in waves, just like athletic performance. There will be times in life when our sleep performance decreases. For example if we catch the flu, tear a muscle or have other aches and pains, or if we have busy times at work. It’s important to accept and understand this fact of life, and with the help of Sleeptracker® start improving our sleep score again, patiently a little bit at a time. Many things in life seem to go in waves and in cycles. While Sleeptracker® helps you improve your sleep over time, it is important to realize that improvement does not occur on a consistent continuous slope. Improvement in any realm doesn’t occur at a constant rate, but overall improvement is periodized, and consistency and daily practice make a big difference. That’s true with Sleeptracker® too.
Why is it important to store my sleep information over time as I age gracefully?
Identifying correlations and trends in long-term sleep data helps us understand how our bodies, health and habits change over time. As we age, our sleep habits change. Sudden changes in our sleep as reported by Sleeptracker® can be indicators of how something in our well-being may have changed, and provides a good reminder to continue improving our sleep performance. That’s true with any health condition and at any age. We can always make small incremental improvements to sleep. Sleeptracker® is a key to better understanding our health, and to building a healthier future.
What vital signs does Sleeptracker® monitor?
Sleeptracker® continually monitors respiration and breathing patterns, as well as fluctuations in heart rate, and qualitative and quantitative body motions.
Should I take power naps during the day?
Yes! Taking power naps is a great idea. This is completely natural, particularly if your sleep wasn’t ideally restful. In Spanish, “siesta” comes from “seis” which means “six”, and in general you will notice 6 hours after waking up you will feel a bit sleepy. If you have an opportunity, try a 20-30 minute power nap to recharge; no more than 30 minutes or you risk waking up groggy.
Hint: It’s not just one bright idea, repeated several times.
Some people appear to be blessed. They aren’t just lucky enough to have a single right idea at the right time; they keep coming up with more bright ideas that make the world better, or at least are valued enough for a profitable business model. While innovation and market success do not always have a strong correlation, there are a few things the creators often have in common.
It’s one thing to get lucky—to have a bright idea at the exact right moment. But many of the people I admire have been “lucky” several times over, sometimes in different guises. Maybe it’s creating a business that evolves from a solo success to a wide range of profitable endeavors under the same corporate umbrella, such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Or the spark of creativity may touch different realms, such as Philippe Kahn, whose success began with Borland’s Turbo Pascal, then camera phones, and now working in the Internet of Things.
I’ve paid some attention to what these people do differently from the rest of us mere mortals, including the things they don’t notice. Because, often, we take our personal strengths for granted; they are, after all, the things that require the least conscious effort.
Lesson 1: It’s all about technology. Except when it isn’t.
Always lead with technology, says Philippe Kahn. “I’m passionate about making things that help Ms. and Mr. Everyone. At different times, different things. But it all has to be led by unique technology innovation.” You may remember Kahn’s legacy at Borland, which drove software development on microcomputers. At LightSurf, it was the camera phone, accompanied by key patents. “Today at Fullpower, it’s the leading platform for the smartbed in the IoT smarthome, powered by machine learning and data science,” he says, with “a lot of innovation and patents.”
However, the world is full of technology that is inherently cool, but also an answer in search of a solution. Whether an innovation is an improvement over existing solutions (the iPod, a faster CPU, a more affordable compiler) or a disruptive game changer (DVDs by mail, crowdsourced classified ads), it answers questions that people immediately realize they had—as soon as the answer appears.
The technology breakthrough itself can be a distraction. Even though the market makers may talk about technology publicly, says Saul Kaplan, founder of the Business Innovation Factory, their attention usually is on problem solving and business models. It’s part of their DNA, he says. “When they stand in line at the supermarket, they are considering how to improve the buying experience,” he points out. Indeed, architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller was incensed by the time wasted standing in line when the bank tried to “save money” by limiting the number of bank tellers, and actively did the math to figure out how much income generation the bank was losing out on in that false economy.
Serial innovators constantly prototype and try on mental models in search of a better way. “They fix a problem and worry about scale later,” Kaplan says. (“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”—R. Buckminster Fuller)
“Technology can be a force multiplier,” agrees Dave Gray, management consultant and author of The Connected Company (you can read a free chapter here). “What tips the balance in most cases is the culture, the people, the morale. Those kinds of things win.” Gray refers to work from management researcher Saras Sarasvathy, who observed that entrepreneurs focus on their capabilities and ask, “Given what is currently under my control, what kinds of things could I do in the world?”
Kahn’s innovations with the camera phone bear this out. Instead of his team trying to develop manufacturing systems (not their core knowledge set), the inventors benefited economically by their licensing patents and technology to other companies with manufacturing systems. Others, such as Apple, Google/Android, and Samsung were then able to build the industrial powerhouses that still exploit the LightSurf original 1997 vision of “Point, shoot, share instantly.”
Lesson 2: In the desire to move forward, be willing to make your existing products obsolete.
Serial innovators look for opportunities to improve their own products because they’re aware someone else wants their business. “Paranoia is good,” Catherine Ulrich, chief product officer at Shutterstock, told the BBC. “Paranoia makes you think about your competitors, and that’s going to make you better.”
If the customer is going to find a better product, ideally it should be from the entrepreneur’s own company. Surely it was better for Apple to build a Macintosh that might “steal sales” from the Apple//e than to wait for a competitor to invent the next improvement, because the customers’ money all went into the same corporate coffers.
And that means leaving things behind—even if you once were really proud of the innovation. Back in 2007, Steve Jobs talked about the courage it took to remove technology from Apple products—in this case, support for Flash, USB, and floppy disks—saying that leaving them behind lets you “put energy into making those new emerging technologies be great on your platform.”
It’s hard enough for an upstart (or startup) company to “innovate” over its own products, but even more difficult for large companies to do so. That’s most famously examined in Clayton Christensen The Innovator’s Dilemma. (Here’s a great 4-minute video summary, for the impatient.) Once a product becomes a success, innovators—or the organizations they build—are unwilling to endanger it. Instead of chasing dreams and betting the house on them, they turn to incremental improvements and optimization of the status quo.
Or, as Kaplan expresses the sentiment: “You get so busy peddling the bicycle of the way your business works that you create constraints. Then along comes someone else who says, ‘I am not constrained and can solve it another way.’”
This isn’t new, of course. MIT senior research scientist David Clark, in discussing the development of the Internet, described the attitudes about innovation during the 1960s and 1970s. “A major source of doubt and skepticism was the mindset of the traditional telephone companies that basically said: first, it won’t work, and second, if it does work, we’re going to try to kill it because we’re not interested in having something that competes with us. I actually think that this doubt and skepticism was incredibly empowering because it basically meant they didn’t pay attention to us. As long as they didn’t pay attention, we could do anything we wanted, so we built a network more or less over their dead body, but they couldn’t stop us.”
In the 2004 article Why Big Companies Can’t Invent, author and venture capitalist Howard Anderson explained why new technologies are seen as a threat to the market leader’s profit margins. “Why would RCA or GE push solid-state technology when the profits from vacuum tubes were so high? Why would Kodak push for digital cameras when its real money was made in film? All eventually entered these markets, of course, but late, and only when change was inevitable. Major corporations much prefer ‘just-in-time’ innovation—innovation that peaks just as older products are on the back half of their life cycle. But innovation does not choreograph so simply; it comes in fits and starts, defeats mixed with occasional breakthroughs.”
Little has changed. “BlackBerry and Windows both suffered the fate of their owning companies focusing on the thing being sold, instead of the problem being solved,” points out Peter Coffee, VP for strategic research at Salesforce.
Lesson 3: Create a culture of innovation (really).
People bandy about the phrase “create a culture of innovation” as if it’s something you can order from Amazon or from which you get the parts from your local hardware store. But the serial innovators, particularly the ones who keep recreating their companies as well as their products and services, truly do encourage their people to try new things.
“No one here is ever told ‘That’s not your job’ when they propose an innovative action,” says Saleforce’s Coffee. “For that matter, I would say that people here are genuinely expected to innovate without permission (let alone a formal organization).”
To avoid being disrupted, a company has to create conditions for entire new business models. “Take Uber: they didn’t invent anything. They saw a problem, and they created an app,” says Kaplan. A few global transportation companies had all the resources and capabilities to make their own Uber, he points out. “But they were stuck in their business models, with their own rules of the road.” These other companies never had a sandbox in which innovative employees were challenged to “explore the possible business models even if it is disruptive to us.” And Uber was worth more than the global transportation company’s whole industry just a few years later.
Similarly, Sony had a huge division that created the Walkman. It also had a division that managed music talent, under contract. It had all the pieces. But, points out Kaplan, Jobs did it from scratch with the iPod.
For serial innovators, the problem is never the idea. It’s how to get the ideas off the white board and onto the ground. “In the end it’s about a repeatable and scalable business model and the ability to reinvent it,” says Kaplan. “That’s what it’s going to take to constantly stay relevant. And we live in a world that constantly screams for it.”