Amazon gets waiver from FCC to monitor sleep with a radar sensor

Sleep tracking may be coming to Amazon devices in the future.

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Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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The Amazon Echo Show 10. 

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Amazon appears to be working on some type of sleep-tracking device, according to a newly revealed waiver that was granted by the Federal Communications Commission. 

In a July 9 letter, the FCC approved an Amazon request for a waiver for a Radar Sensor that would "enable touchless control of device features and functions" and be able to capture "motion in a three-dimensional space to enable contactless sleep tracing functionalities." 

As noted by Bloomberg, Amazon's initial filing request from June describes how the company envisions the radar feature potentially providing "significant benefits to consumers with mobility, speech, or tactile impairments" in addition to sleep tracking and improving the user's "awareness and management of sleep hygiene." 

It's not clear which devices would use the feature and when (or even if) Amazon would bring it to market. The FCC waiver notes that Amazon was looking for approval of a sensor similar to the Soli radar Google has used in its Pixel 4 phones for touchless control. While the Soli chip was ditched in last year's Pixel 5, in March the company added the chip to its Nest Hub with the goal of monitoring sleep. 

Amazon's devices, per the July FCC waiver, will be "non-mobile" and "only operating when connected to a power source" suggesting this feature could arrive in a new Echo or Echo Show. 

Amazon did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.