Apple’s acquisition of the Finnish company ‘Beddit’ – what will the Tech Giant do with the Finnish startup?

Apple’s acquisition of the tiny Finnish startup company ‘Beddit’ made headline news around the world. Beddit.com was founded in 2006 and is based in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland. Beddit 3 is an extremely sensitive sleep tracker that you don’t have to wear, and it’s currently the only Finnish product in global Apple Store distribution. The sensor was released to rave reviews worldwide in October 2016 and has since sold out several times over. Beddit was also acknowledged as the most innovative digital service in Finland at the Grand One Awards Ceremony in 2017. With more and more of us using fitness and sleep tracking software, here at PillBox Chemists we’re always interested to learn what the future may hold in terms of the marketplace and to learn of new industry trends.

In May 2017, their company became the first Finnish and only the second ever consumer product company to be acquired by the US Tech Giant Apple(The first being Beats Electronics nearly three years previously in 2014)

It actually took a few years for Beddit to mature as a startup and a company. In 2013, as they first began to develop their innovative product, they raised over $500,000 with pre-orders on crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo.

Beddit uses ballistocardiography through an ultra-thin sensor that you place under your bed sheet, then you can plug it in and forget all about it. There is nothing to wear or charge, which makes it the most innovative and unusual sleep tracker on the market. Every night, the sensor automatically measures your sleep, heart rate, breathing, snoring and bedroom environment, giving you a full picture of the night for you to monitor via the state of the art app that comes in support of the tech.

The science behind Beddit’s sleep tracking and scoring system was developed in partnership with Helsinki Sleep Clinic, VitalMed Research Center and professor Markku Partinen, MD, a leading authority on sleep research. Beddit’s data accuracy and patented sleep tracking methodology have been clinically validated and published in peer-reviewed scientific articles, and it’s these scientific endorsements that have helped it to outsell all projections since its inception.

But what would Apple do with the technology long-term, as the device was already being sold on their website, surely there was some other long-term plan for the revolutionary sleep tracking technology?

There was no further news on this front for the last two years. Until recently that is, when Apple announced that it was to be testing a sleep monitor for a future version of its smartwatch, a feature that would bolster the company in the health- and fitness-tracking market and widely believed to be derived from the Beddit technology.

We could see the new Apple Watch with the enhanced sleep tracking functionality on the open market as early as 2020. Sleep tracking on the Apple Watch would reduce a competitive advantage that longtime fitness-wearable developer Fitbit Inc. has had on the market, and we can only presume they are currently developing this innovative tech even further to take a bite out of the Fitbit market place. 

A new Apple Watch would be the first new product to be launched as a result of the acquisition of Finnish company Beddit and is highly likely to have been developed as a joint product.

As sales growth of its signature product, the iPhone, has slowed, Apple has pointed investors to its plethora of other devices, including the Apple Watch. Since the Watch went on sale in April 2015, it has become one of the most popular smartwatches on the market, and new sleep tracking software is expected to be available soon. 

Apple hasn’t disclosed how many Apple Watches have been sold, but Strategy Analytics estimated the company shipped 4.5 million units in the third quarter, accounting for 45 per cent of the market. The analyst firm said Apple lost some share last year to Fitbit, and it’s undoubtedly this news which has caused Apple to push the boundaries even further on its product developments. 

Any new product launch will only renew interest in the tiny Finnish tech startup that began this journey, with analysts expecting to see further announcements later in 2019.