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Sleep no more: Sevenhugs pauses development of sleep tracker

The Sevenhugs HugOne Sleep Tracking System.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Editors’ note, February 10, 2017: A Sevenhugs’ representative amended the company’s earlier statement — noting that production itself hasn’t been paused, but feature development has halted while they work to fix a bug. The piece has been updated accordingly.

I thought a sleep tracker that worked with Alexa, Nest, Philips Hue and IFTTT sounded too good to be true. As it turns out, it might be too good to be true, at least for now.

Due to a Wi-Fi connectivity error, French tech startup Sevenhugs is halting work on updates, features and software development while the company tries to fix the bug on the HugOne system.

The HugOne is a colorful, family-friendly set of gizmos. Place one of the system’s sleep sensors on the corner of your bed (one for each person sleeping in it), and it’ll track your movements throughout the night. In the morning, after you’ve woken up, the sensor will transmit the data back to the base station using Sevenhugs’ proprietary frequency, letting you track everything on your Android or iOS device.

The sensors also track the temperature and humidity conditions in each room. If anything’s amiss, the base station will change from a blue glow to a pink one to let you know to take action and open a window.

I’d just started testing the HugOne but couldn’t get the system’s hub connected to my Wi-Fi. I worked with the company on troubleshooting and even downloaded the beta of a future app update. to no avail. As it turns out, I’m not the only one having trouble.

Per a company representative via email, the issue only affects a “small percentage of customers.” The representative noted that for customers “unable to resolve their issue with customer support, we provide two options: a) full refund plus free return shipping or b) free product replacement. We greatly appreciate our customers, and we are doing everything in our power to take care of them.”

The “HugOne” base station will start glowing pink if your bedroom gets too hot or stuffy.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

A properly functioning HugOne should work with a few notable smart home gadgets. Sync it up with a Nest Learning Thermostat, and you’ll be able to trigger your thermostat whenever everyone’s in bed and again when everyone wakes up. You’ll also be able to connect it with Philips Hue’s smart LED lighting system and trigger your bulbs to turn off when you get in bed, or to fade on in the morning. Take advantage of the system’s channel on the free automation service IFTTT, and you’ll be able to trigger even more smart-home gadgets.

The system will also be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, which lets you ask the voice-activated virtual assistant to tell you the air quality in each bedroom.

This isn’t the first we’ve seen of Sevenhugs. Back in January 2016 at CES, the startup offered CNET a look at a prototype of a touchscreen remote for the smart home, with contextual controls that change depending on what you’re pointing it at. The Sevenhugs team has had it on hand again at several shows since then, including this year’s CES, but it’s still only available for preorder.

The HugOne sleep tracking system is available through Amazon Launchpad. Though the company clarified that production as a whole hasn’t stopped, I’d still recommend waiting on a purchase until we’ve confirmed the connectivity issue is fixed.

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