Sense sleep monitor raises $1.2m on Kickstarter in its first week

A new sleep-tracking kit designed by a 22-year-old British entrepreneur has raised $1.2 million (£708,000) in its first week through Kickstarter's crowdfunding platform.

James Pound's product initially had a goal of raising $100,000 in 30 days, but has now been forecast to raise more than $4 million by end of the period.

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Sense includes an orb that monitors the bedroom, a clip that attaches to the pillow and a smartphone app.

The kit, which costs $129 and is due to launch in November, produces a unique score for the previous night's sleep and then wakes the user at the best point in their sleep cycle.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Pound said that as such an important part of our lives, sleep was an obvious area to focus on.

"We spend a third of our day doing it," he said."It's the most critical part of the day, as how we perform when we're awake depends on how well we slept."

Sleep-focused products are an increasingly large part of health-related technology. Apps such as SleepCycle, Sleepbot and Sleepmaster are already available across multiple platforms, while specialist hardware devices such as Aura are also being developed.

While the US National Sleep Foundation praised the impact that new technologies can have, others remain sceptical.

Professor Jerry Siegel from the University of California said the products were nothing more than "harmless entertainment."

"The most common sleep problem is insomnia, and there's nothing that you're going to get from one of these devices that is going to be useful in treating insomnia."

Mr Proud developed his Sense product in California through his company Hello, and stressed that the most important aspect of his Kickstarter success was the feedback, rather than the money.

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"The valuable thing about Kickstarter is the community," he said.

"The amount of feedback we've had is amazing, which we wouldn't have had if we had just put it up on our website."