FCC Gives OK To Amazon Device That Monitors Users While They Sleep


Gabrielle Temaat Contributor
Font Size:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted Amazon permission to use technology that monitors users’ sleep Friday, according to a filing by the FCC.

Amazon requested a waiver of the Commission’s section 15.255(c)(3) rules in order to receive authorization for the Radar Sensor. Section 15.255(c)(3) “prevents unlicensed devices from causing harmful interference,”  according to the FCC filing.

Amazon explained how it plans to use the sensors “to enable touchless control of device features and functions” and “to enable contactless sleep tracing functionalities.”

In order for the FCC to waive any section of the Commission’s rules, “there must be a stronger public interest benefit in granting the waiver than in applying the rule.” The FCC decided that Amazon met this standard and that granting the waiver would provide “substantial public benefit,” as the device can assist people with disabilities and improve health and wellness.

In the company’s request, Amazon also cited a similar waiver that had previously been granted to Google, according to Bloomberg. The FCC allowed Google to operate unlicensed radars at a higher power than the Commission’s rules allow. (RELATED: ‘Augmented Reality Hair Consultations’: Amazon Opens Experimental Two-Story Salon In London)

“We find that Amazon’s Radar Sensor, when used for the specific types of applications that Amazon has described, is sufficiently analogous to the situations we evaluated for the Google Soli radar for us to reach the same conclusion here,” the FCC said.