Withings Aura active smart sleep system slips under your bed, lives on your table

A bedside sleep companion and sleep aid, the Aura combines sensors and sensory stimulation to knit together a futuristic bedside gadget for a good night's rest.

Scott Stein
Scott Stein Editor at Large

I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets.

The world of wearable tech has birthed a lot of wrist-worn devices with sleep trackers, with limited amounts of actual sensory input. Instead of joining the fray, Withings has opted for another direction at CES 2014: a smart device that lives near your bed.

Lit by the glow of the Aura. Withings

Withings Aura Active Sleep System is completely dedicated to sleep: it leaves the wristband behind, and uses a combination of an under-the-mattress sensor and bedside clock device to both monitor and improve sleep patterns.

The under-the-mattress sensor pad measures motion, including heart rate, breathing, and body movement. The bedside device senses noise pollution, lighting, and room temperature. The bedside part also acts as a combination clock and audio/visual stimulation system, using colored light and sound programs to sync with anticipated sleep and awake cycles, reminiscent of previous sleep-aid devices by companies like Homedics.

The $299 Aura is expensive, and looks more elaborate than the typical sleep-tracker you'd get on a Jawbone Up or Fitbit Force, but the Aura's bedside device does triple-duty as a clock, ambient light, and Bluetooth speaker. The Aura pairs with your phone, working with Withings' connected app ecosystem of blood pressure monitors, scales, and fitness trackers.

The Withings Aura: a sleep-tracking and audiovisual sleep system. Withings

The Aura will be available this spring. It certainly seems like a device you'd need to actually see and use before judging it.

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