iOS 10 is going to help you track your sleep
Go to sleep….
You have an iPhone. Irrespective of when you bought it, Apple controls your life now. To make sure that you have time and energy for the important things in life…like taking photos and videos on your iPhone, messaging people on your iPhone and buying gas with your iPhone, Apple will now remind you when you need to go to sleep so that tomorrow you will be wide awake while using your iPhone.
The user experience basically goes like this: After a set up wizard has been completed, you will get a reminder via alert that it is ‘bedtime in xMinutes’. You comply and sleep. You wake up via the alarm clock.
That’s pretty much it.
Apple gives you the command to sleep. You obey. Apple sends confirmation to you that your task has been satisfactorily completed. You acknowledge on the iPhone.
Over time Apple will show you where you need to improve your performance if you want the best result.
When to go to sleep, when to wake up – record these events with data points on a daily or nightly basis for a routine analysis of sleep habits by presenting amount of sleep over time focusing on when the sleeping occurred.
This is what Apple disclosed in the, ‘other’ section of the iOS 10 beta announcement was Bedtime. There wasn’t much detail then, but I have some shots of the process, and last nights data points to show you.
It is in the Clock Application
Open up the Clock.app. It’s the one that looks like an animated clock and shows you the time. The middle tab at the bottom that says Bedtime is what you are looking for.
Select how many hours of sleep you need every night…
Decide when you want the reminder. For many, it would depend on what time you plan on going to sleep. If you have kids that go to bed at the same time you want to go to bed, you might need an hour. If you are ready to hit the sack within 15 minutes of whenever…count your blessings.
Choose how many days of the week you want the reminder and the wake up reminders.
That’s all there is to it.
You now have a data source inside the Health.app that tracks you sleep behavior. You should open Health and set it to the dashboard like so:
Data points collected
Here is the record that is created. Sleep data is personal data. It’s private data. Marketers would pay money...a lot of money to have this kind of data. Think of all the money that is available to the Sleep Market. Pillows, mattresses, sleep numbers, pharmaceuticals…there is big money in advertising.
The great thing about the iOS platform: Your data is your data. It stays on the device unless you decide to move it. It isn’t sold to advertisers to generate the revenue for a different part of the ecosystem. You already paid for the platform. Use it at your discretion.
A little more on Health and Research
Now that you know a little bit more about what is up and coming for iOS 10, here is a great read on how you canshare your private data collected about you on your iPhone, as part of crowd sourced data collected by medical research centers. The ResearchKit API is an open source project with Apple and University Medical centers and research programs that will allow you to help save someone’s life…maybe even yours.
You can read about that here. The real take-away from this, in the context of privacy, is that you private data will not be collected, racked and stacked and then sold to someone who will then pay someone else to put ads in Facebook to sell you pillows, or place ads for sleeping drugs in your search returns or spam your email box with 30% off mattress coupons.
On Privacy of health data
Many might feel that their personal data…like sleep continuity or sleep habits aren’t important to their personal privacy who don’t mind seeing advertisements. Reasoning that if you are going to see ads anyway, they might as well be ads on things you would be interested in. This point is very valid especially from a user experience standpoint. But when you let that data out on the web, it is out there. And it is assembled with other pieces of data that data warehouses deem probably belong to you.
This data can be bought and sold…and it is.
As HR departments use the web, especially Google Search when conducting, ‘research’, on candidates…sleep habits recorded in a data package – that gets bought and sold by data brokers…Facebook, Google etc – aren’t respected as private because you indicated that your sleep data ‘isn’t really important to my personal privacy.’ It isn’t against the law to discriminate using sleep habit data. So if your sleep habit profile shows you have issues sleeping, or possibly go a day…or two without sleep, that will be used as a metric to qualify or disqualify you if it is available.
The margin of error in the human interpretation of data that is extracted from the internet using Google Search returns that are skewed by advertising potential, is quite broad. Even if it was you that placed the data out there initially, without context and without a quality mechanism that prevents other data from being merged, anything can be misconstrued by a human that believes just because he can do a résumé query in Google Search, that the returns from that search resume or not is valid criteria for discrimination, as long as it isn’t sex, age, race etc.
That kind of stuff doesn’t happen much on other platforms.
Also published on Medium.