Some smartwatches now have a sleep tracking feature (Fig 1): the watch is able to figure out when you fall asleep and record how long you’ve slept.
It’s easy to fall asleep while watching streaming video or listening to a podcast.
But sleeping while a podcast plays may result in your podcast app marking 10+ episodes as “played” even though you snoozed through them. To fix things, you’ll have to figure out exactly where you left off (or just give up on those episodes entirely).
With a TV show, you might wake up to a plot-twisting spoiler. Horrifying!
With a sleep-tracking smartwatch, the watch could, upon detecting that you’re asleep, do one of two things:
1. Immediately pause the podcast / video, or fade it out over time.
2. Continue playing, but specially mark this region of time as “you were asleep, but the video was still playing.” This situation is shown in Figure 2.
This feature could also be useful for college students, who are famous for sleeping through classes at all hours of the day. A sample scenario is shown in Figure 3, below.
This auto-pause feature could be implemented in a manner similar to the way in which a phone already automatically pauses video / music when a phone call is received.
PROS: By pausing streaming video, this saves valuable Internet bandwidth that would otherwise be streamed to your closed eyelids.
CONS: Students may end up with even more disastrous sleep schedules if they know they can rely on this lecture-replay feature.