FCC Says Okay to Amazon Monitoring Sleep With Radar

The device would use radar to track sleep hygiene without physical contact

Amazon's proposed device that would use radar for general motion control and to keep track of sleep hygiene without requiring physical contact has been given the green light by the FCC.

Bloomberg reports that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Amazon the approval to move ahead with an as-yet-unannounced device that would use radar to track movement. According to Amazon, using radar would make it possible to capture movement in 3D space, which would greatly benefit users with mobility and speech impairments. It could also be used to monitor a user's sleep with more precision than most other sleep-monitoring devices currently available.

Low-angle, close-up view of Amazon Echo smart speaker

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The approval document released by the FCC reveals that the Amazon device would be "non-mobile" and require a constant connection to a power source to operate—much like the Amazon Echo. Though unlike the Echo, the use of radar would make non-verbal, contactless control possible as the device would be able to read users' movements.

Woman Using Tablet in Bed

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"We find that Amazon’s Radar Sensor, when used for the specific types of applications that Amazon has described, is sufficiently analogous to the situations we evaluated for the Google Soli radar for us to reach the same conclusion here," the FCC stated in the approval document, "And, as with Google’s devices, Amazon’s radars will be used to capture motion in a discrete space that is characterized by a short distance between the radar and what it is sensing."

In Amazon's Request for Waiver filing, the company states that "...when deployed in low-cost contactless sleep tracking devices, the Radar Sensors will allow consumers to recognize potential sleep issues. Grant of this waiver would therefore provide tangible benefits to many members of the American public."

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