Global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo signed on to endorse SleepScore Labs last week, just as the sleep-tracking company launched what it calls the “first non-contact sleep tracking mobile app.”
SleepScore taps into an iPhone’s microphone and speakers to monitor a user’s sleep patterns through the use of inaudible sound waves transmitted to and reflected off someone sleeping. The company’s sonar algorithms translate that input into data about breathing and body movement. SleepScore’s experts include a Harvard Medical School associate professor, a University of Washington neurologist, the former “sleep czar” at Apple, and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
SleepScore previously relied on its own hardware, which was the size of a tissue box. Surf legend Laird Hamilton was a brand ambassador for that product. The new free app became available last week; a paid version offers a more comprehensive set of features.
“Sleep affects all facets of people’s health, and yet there has been no easy way to accurately measure or track it everywhere we sleep—until now,” said Colin Lawlor, CEO of SleepScore Labs, in a press release. “We’ve been developing this technology longer than the iPhone has existed. We’re excited that for the first time, virtually everyone can get a truer picture of their sleep health for free and make smarter decisions about how to get a more restful night’s sleep.”
Among the metrics tracked are how long someone needs to fall asleep and how long he or she remains in different sleep cycles. Sleepscore Labs is a joint venture of ResMed, Dr. Oz, and Pegasus Capital Advisors L.P.
“As an athlete, the importance of sleep can’t be overstated,” Ronaldo said in a statement. “It affects every aspect of your being, and your performance on the field and off. I’m looking forward to using the SleepScore app daily as a way to improve my health and performance on and off the field.”
Signing a transcendent soccer star playing at his peak during the biggest sporting event on the planet is a good way to generate brand awareness. SleepScore reports that 1.2 billion people suffer from some sort of sleep issue. Adding Ronaldo—who scored a hat trick against Spain in Portugal’s opening match of the World Cup—helps call attention to that real health problem, and improving rest and recovery has become a key priority in sports in recent years.