Fitbit is categorizing sleep with cartoon animals - The Verge
Fitbit is launching Sleep Profile, a feature that categorizes users as various animals. The animals correspond with various types of sleepers. The profile is based on 10 sleep metrics.
Fitbit is launching a new Sleep Profile feature for premium members that will categorize users as one of six animal characters, the company announced today. Users are grouped based on 10 sleep metrics — five of which are new to Fitbit.
The research team wanted to give people more information about how they sleep, says Karla Gleichauf, the senior research scientist at Google who led the research for the feature. “We were also influenced by some fun things, like game design or the Harry Potter quizzes about what house you’re in,” she says. “People love to be categorized. So, we said, ‘I think this is just really fun’ — it’s another kind of identity to people.”
For example: Fitbit co-founder James Park is a dolphin, Gleichauf says. People with dolphin sleep animals tend to go to bed at variable times, go to sleep late, and take lots of naps. When they do sleep, though, it’s very restful. “These are people who have a lot of area for improvement,” she says.
The feature appears similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 sleep coaching program, which assigns users one of eight sleep types — each associated with an animal. Samsung then prompts users to start a program to improve sleep quality.
To build the new Fitbit feature, the research team looked at a month’s worth of sleep data from around 60,000 users to create the various profiles, Gleichauf says. The team started with 1,000 different features and tested various machine learning algorithms to eventually zero in on six different categories of sleepers. (Respectively: giraffe, bear, dolphin, hedgehog, parrot, and tortoise.) The six groups each have distinct attributes, like the dolphin, which is known for waking up more easily, and the parrot, which tends to have a consistent bedtime.