July 23, 2024


Think spectacular technology

Nora listens to you sleep, nudges you when you snore



Anybody who shares a bed — or even just a room — with someone who snores knows how frustrating trying to get a good night’s sleep can be. The best way to quiet the person down is usually just to poke them, which can make the whole night a series of sleeping periods, punctuated by snoring, waking and poking. Now there’s a machine that will break up that rhythm by doing the poking for you.

Smart Nora consists essentially of two parts: an electronic sensor that rests on a bedside table and listens for repeating sounds in a particular frequency range (i.e. snoring); and an inflation device that slides underneath the snorer’s pillow and blows up when they snore, repositioning their head. Altogether, the gadget will set you back about $300 (however, at the time of writing, it was on sale for $260).

It’s difficult to measure how successful Smart Nora actually is — especially since the snorers themselves shouldn’t notice much of a difference. But the logic behind the device seems sound. The electronics are kept away from the head. The device is designed to filter out bedroom noises — although false positives shouldn’t be an issue if the device truly is nonintrusive, as the developers claim.

Nora also offers some additional smarts: you don’t have to use it with an app, but if you choose to do so, you can record audio and track your snoring to make sure the device really is making a difference. The app will also tell users if their snoring might indicate sleep apnea, and whether they should consult a doctor. Obviously, Smart Nora isn’t a medical device, but getting a tip if you or a loved one has apnea is a great perk.

Of course, Smart Nora also has some apparent issues before even testing it. First off, many people are restless sleepers, or roll around during the night. If such a person were to roll off the pillow, then Nora couldn’t do anything to affect their snoring.

Second, the $300 price tag isn’t too appealing. Sure, the tech behind the device is interesting. It might even help mitigate snoring. But it’s hard to swallow a $300 surcharge before testing it for yourself — especially when you can find plenty of low-tech snoring solutions for under a hundred bucks.

Here are Smart Nora’s measurements:

  • Length of a queen pillow: 50 cm by 15 cm
  • Folds in half for easier travel: 25cm by 10 cm

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