Tech giant Google was recently issued a patent on a contact-free method for smarter sleep monitoring. The method eschews wearable sensors and depends solely on real-time image analysis using artificial intelligence to determine the subject's position and whether or not they are sleeping soundly. In addition, environmental sensors may also record data such as ambient temperature, humidity, and noise for more context. One application listed in the patent is for easier child monitoring wherein the parents can depend on the software to alert them to any issues rather than actively watching a video feed.
The use of artificial intelligence in baby monitors has been commercialized by small start-ups such as Cubo AI and BabbyCam, but the sector is still small with no dominant players and brings up some privacy concerns. Most of Google's patents and products in the sleep technology space depend on wearable sensors; this new filing may hint at something new coming down the pipeline.