Tap Zones: How We Developed Our Innovative Solution for Limiting Bedtime Phone Use

One of our most-requested features to date has been a way to control the Pod without relying on a phone, and in turn, reducing nighttime screen exposure. To solve this problem, we designed an innovative solution leveraging the Cover’s sensing technology: Tap to Control. Available with Pod 4, Tap to Control features two distinct tap zones, one on each side of the Pod, so you can control the temperature, Base elevation, and alarm without ever moving from the bed. Here’s how we did it. 

Our inspiration for Tap to Control

It’s no secret that screen time at night negatively impacts the quality of our sleep, so it was crucial for us to provide members with a way to control the Pod through the night without the app. Considering that the controls should be simple and intuitive, we built this version of the Pod with tap sensors embedded directly into the Cover. With a simple double or triple tap, you can control the Pod’s thermal or elevation controls, as well as the alarm.

How to use Tap to Control

Just like the controls on a pair of wireless headphones, Pod 4 features two tap zones that respond according to a pre-set series of gestures. Two taps lower the temperature level of the Pod by one, while three taps raise the temperature by one. Four taps can be used on Pod 4 Ultra to switch between the Base’s Reading and Sleeping positions.

Users also have control over their alarms via Tap to Control, allowing them to snooze or dismiss it with just two taps (a setting that can be pre-determined within the app).

Overnight Gestures:

  • Two taps: Decrease Pod temperature by one level
  • Three taps: Increase Pod temperature by one level 
  • Four taps: Switch between Reading elevation and Sleeping elevation of the Base (only available with Pod 4 Ultra)

Alarm Gestures: 

  • Two taps: Snooze or dismiss your alarm

The technology behind Tap to Control 

Tap to Control utilizes vibration and proximity sensors within the Pod Cover. There are two tap zones powered by these sensors, one on each side of the Cover, so that two people sharing a Pod can access a tap zone from their side. As a user taps on these zones, a real-time algorithm reads the tap patterns live and responds based on each command. To differentiate intentional taps from normal movements and accidental bumping, the sensors inside the tap zones work in conjunction with the sensors across the Cover to ensure only purposeful adjustments are made.

This phone-free solution is fully integrated into the Pod so it’s always exactly where you left it, whereas a remote can be misplaced or left across the room. The Pod’s tap zones will always be just an arm’s reach away when you’re settled in bed, ultimately enhancing your relaxation experience.

Perfected for consistent and optimal results 

To ensure that the tap zones were consistently responsive to users, we conducted a variety of tests to see exactly where people were most likely to tap on the sides of their bed, as well as how they were tapping. We collected thousands of nights of data to develop a streamlined algorithm for tap detection, which is adjusted according to how hard you tap. Plus, to ensure clear communication between you and Pod 4, haptic feedback echoes your taps back to you to confirm the pattern before adjusting. 

After extensive research and testing, we’ve found that Tap to Control has effectively lowered overnight phone usage by at least 10% now that users won’t have to reach for their device to adjust the temperature or elevation. Plus, with more control over your temperature, you can adjust your sleep environment more easily, keeping you more comfortable and relaxed than ever.

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