AI-Powered Snore Detector Shakes The Pillow So You Won’t

If you snore, you’ll probably find out about it from someone. An elbow to the ribs courtesy of your sleepless bedmate, the kids making fun of you at breakfast, or even the lady downstairs calling the cops might give you the clear sign that you rattle the rafters, and that it’s time to do something about it. But what if your snores are a bit more subtle, or you don’t have someone to urge you to roll over? In that case, this AI-powered haptic snore detector might be worth building.

The most distinctive characteristic of snoring is, of course, its sound, and that’s exactly what [Naveen Kumar] chose as a trigger. To differentiate between snoring and other nighttime sounds, [Naveen] chose an Arduino Nicla Voice sensor board, which sports a Syntiant NDP120 deep-learning processor and a built-in MEMS microphone. To generate a model that adequately represents the full tapestry of human snores, a publicly available snoring dataset — because of course that’s a thing — was used for training. Importantly, the training data included samples of non-snoring sounds, like sirens and thunder, as well as clips of legit snoring mixed with these other sounds. The model is trained with an online tool and downloaded onto the board; when it detects the sweet sound of sawing wood three times in a row, a haptic driver board vibrates the pillow as a gentle reminder to reposition. Watch it in action in the brief video below.

Snoring is something that’s easy to make light of, but in all seriousness, it’s not something to be taken lightly. Hats off to [Naveen] for developing a tool like this, which just might let you know you’ve got a problem that bears a closer look by a professional. Although it might work better as a wearable rather than a pillow-shaker.

18 thoughts on “AI-Powered Snore Detector Shakes The Pillow So You Won’t

  1. As an avid snorer, I was rather interested in this project. The work itself is well documented and impressive. However, I was quickly disappointed after reading through the full write-up when I realized that AI is just used as a buzzword here.
    Like many other “new” things nowadays, the use of the term “AI” here is quite a stretch. A few years ago, the use of algorithms was known as “the use of algorithms”. But now everyone likes to call it AI for some reason. Using speech recognition hardware to essentially perform audio comparisons against a preset base of audio models is hardly AI.

        1. My definition is quite simple: actual Artificial Intelligence per the definition that has not been butchered by the media. The ability of a computer to mimic human intelligence by means of advanced methods of machine learning. It is not merely a computer that can process logic. Again, this device compares audio samples against a preset base of audio models using some “more advanced” hardware. It cannot make any changes or improvements to the way it operates based upon what it is doing or how it performs. The only machine learning involved here was done by the software to generate the audio model base.

      1. It isn’t intelligent: it simply compares audio files to a pre-existing library (with maybe some “fuzzy matching”). It is definitely machine-learning, but not artificial intelligence (it just seems intelligent to those who either don’t understand the field, or don’t understand the device). “AI” isn’t a buzz-word for “journalists”, it is an actual technology that hasn’t yet been achieved.

    1. Don’t forget that word everybody ignores in ‘AI’ is ‘Artificial’. It’s in the same bracket as artificial flavourings, artificial grass etc. It doesn’t actually do the job, it just fools enough of our senses to give an impression of it, or stand in for a real intelligence in a limited way as it does in this case.

      When we have Machine Intelligence to rival Human Intelligence, we’ll be getting somewhere. I look forward to that happening, but until then remember that what AI means is ‘fake’.

  2. Keep in mind that snoring can be an indicator for Sleep Apnea(sp?) which can be a serious health issue, but it can now be treated with among a CPAP – Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine and mask – the many of the new machines adjust air pressure depending on if you are having Apnea events and many of the new masks are not very intrusive.

    Anyone that snores much should be checked for Sleep Apnea

      1. Indeed. I experimented with a much cruder device to do this. Snoring is a first indication. It’s followed by a brief interruption to breathing, and then your brain wakes you and you live. But your sleep has been interrupted and this may occur many times during the night resulting in severe tiredness. A blood-oxygen (SP02) monitor tells the story.

        I’d suggest that you at least – as you probably do – log and count the events. Find out how frequent it is. Get a USB SPO2 monitor and add it to the logs. The results may convince you to try a different approach – or they may tell you it’s fine.

        The CPAP devices can help. Mine did when I was totally exhausted. However after a year or so I had to stop using it -it prevented me from getting to sleep in the first place. My doctor agreed that it was counterproductive but has offered no alternative. They’re far from perfect but sadly the medical community have no reasonable alternative. Laser ablation of the saggy throat tissues has been one treatment but as far as I know it’s not available in the UK.

        1. Maybe they are quack medicine, But I have heard of mouth appliances (IIRC they move the lower jaw into an underbite position). They claim to alleviate Sleep Apnea. Ask your dentist.

    1. Keep in mind that your doctor’s advice is for you specifically, not for you to randomly cast about the internet looking for someone to condescend to (unless, of course, you have a medical degree- even then a doctor would refrain from making sweeping generalizations). TLDR: stop giving medical advice online unless you are qualified and licensed to do so.

      1. I’m a doctor. Qualified and licensed and everything. I deal with OSA daily.
        Snoring loud enough to wake others has an almost certain (no gotchas please) correlation with many bad things including serious fatigue and correlated with things like falling asleep at the wheel or right heart strain and cardiac disease.
        It’s no joke and the downside with bringing it up to your healthcare provider is about zero, the benefits potentially tremendous.

  3. There is a free phone app at that you can use to tell if you’re snoring.
    Put it next to the bed at night. Quite good.
    Vibrator add-on isn’t free.
    Not AI – detection algorithm developed by a doctor some years ago.
    I did the BT add-on.

    1. Also check out the Sleep As Android phone app. It has an AI snoring detector, can use the built-in mic, logs all snoring episodes for later playback, and can play the sound of your choice to prompt you to stop snoring. It can capture talking in your sleep also.

  4. While I agree, if you snore, get it checked out (it can be as simple as lying in a different position, a different pillow, or losing weight or not having any alcohol before bed etc.), but obviously you may not know about it unless you sleep next to someone who will point it out (sleep next to anyone long enough and they’ll point it out!).

    Anyway, for some “Snorers”, it occurs at a certain point in the sleeping process pre-REM. Waking constantly at this point in time prevents REM and prevents restful sleep, and the snorer will just snore more. For others it may be enough to get them to roll over on their side and go back to sleep without snoring at all but its not a catch all.

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