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CES: Like Santa, It Knows When You Are Sleeping

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Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.

It may not give its users sweet dreams but, in retrospect, the new Sleep Clock can tell whether they had some.

Yet another new entrant to the growing body- and activity-monitoring space, the $199 Sleep Clock by Gear4 is unique in that it tracks sleep patterns without requiring the user to head to bed garbed in a sensor-equipped wristband, headband or other gear with all manner of wires attached. Instead, says a spokesman, the clock’s sensors quietly monitor the micro movements of the person nearest it — breathing as well as any untoward twitches, tossing or turning. (Sleepyheads will need an iPhone docked into the clock to record the data.) Users can set a wake-up window instead of a specific time, and the alarm will ring when the sensors determine he or she is in a light sleep stage and can be easily woken.

Companies whose products include wearable gear say those on-body sensors are more accurate. A Sleep Clock spokesman says the sensor is more accurate than worn versions that primarily monitor movement. He says it can also distinguish between people and pets — should the cat take up a 3am residence on top of the duvet — and focuses automatically on the person closest to it when there are multiple people sleeping in the room.

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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.