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FCC Lifts Rules So Amazon Can Build Radar Devices to Track Your Sleep

(Washington Times) – The Federal Communications Commission waived its rules so Amazon can build radar sensors that the company says would be used to track people’s sleep.

The federal government’s exemption for Amazon paves the way for the tech giant to monitor users’ movements in the bedroom with extreme precision — all without users having to press a button.

The FCC accepted Amazon’s claim that the tech would be used to improve users’ health and wellness.

“Granting the waiver will provide substantial public benefit by, among other things, permitting the deployment of applications that can provide assistance to persons with disabilities and improve personal health and wellness,” wrote Ronald Repasi, acting chief of FCC’s office of engineering and technology, in a letter to Amazon granting the waiver. “We believe that, without the higher power levels associated with the waiver, it is highly likely that Amazon would not be able to produce devices that transmit with large enough bandwidths to provide sufficient resolution to achieve these objectives.”

Details about the product Amazon plans to build are scarce. Mr. Repasi’s letter to Amazon on Friday, first obtained by Bloomberg, noted that Amazon indicated its devices would be “nonmobile” and function only when connected to a power source.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. In its June request for a waiver, the company indicated it needed the waiver to build devices that could monitor sleep and detect movements.

Amazon officials told the FCC that the “higher degree of resolution and location precision” offered by the planned devices would help users better estimate sleep quality and improve their awareness and management of “sleep hygiene.” The company’s officials also argued the tech could be of use to users with physical impairments.

“Facilitating touchless device control could have a substantial societal impact by greatly enhancing the accessibility of everyday devices,” the Amazon officials wrote in their request. Read Full Article >

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