Environmental control and related technology often garner most of the press attention in Consumer Sleep Technology. However, most of these devices are largely supported by developments in the Data Processing and Analytics category. Just as patent activity leads market activity in general, Data Processing and Analytics may provide a look at upcoming product launches. Notably, Fitbit dominates in this space with almost three times the volume of patent activity of the second largest player, Philips. Most of this activity, however, is in mere sleep detection, with sleep evaluation coming second.
Glancing at each of the other assignees in this space, other companies tend to have a more diverse portfolio. For example, Samsung has activity in Detection, Stages, Evaluation, Feedback, and Smart Alarm, including one patent that issued in Stages this week. (Although only two total patents have been issued to Samsung in the Data Processing category). Philips has a presence in each of these categories as well as Quality. Future competition may force Fitbit to look at tracking additional elements of consumers' sleep cycles. For example, Apple, whom we recently noted may be interested in Fitbit for future Apple Watch partnerships, shows most of its activity in Smart Alarms, an area that Fitbit is noticeably absent from.