ZEO Device arrived – Unboxing and first review

My Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+ arrived today. For those who do not know the thing: Zeo is a device for tracking the quality of one’s sleep by measuring the different sleep stages (like REM, Deep Sleep, …) during sleep and naps and using the data for further analysis and coaching from the tool’s online and mobile apps.

This might become one of the most important tools for us who are playing with different sleep schedules. So I thought for those who play with the thought of purchasing one, I do a little “unboxing” and review article with a lot of pictures…

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Ordering process and pricing

I ordered the device from the european distributor Intus Healthcare on their site myzeo.co.uk on July, 17th at around 14:00. I received the delivery information only 1 hour later – so logistics are top there. The device was sent via normal royal mail (no express or such). I paid 98,00 british pounds (€129,39) including shipping and taxes.

At the point of purchase this would have been $157,31. In the US shop, the price was $129,00 but shipment to euope would have been about $80 so this was no alternative. All the same – the european distributor charges a bit more for the device.

Delivery

Today the parcel arrived ( 3 days shipping – more than OK ). A bit damaged but nothing serious. Inside was just one box, which contained the device and all accessories. No manual, just a warrenty paper.

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First impression

The material and feeling of the components was good. The package contains a USB charging station with adapters to add the device to the normal power lines.

The headband and the sensor were seperatly packaged. I later learned that the sensor and the headband should be replaced every three months. A replacement costs about 15$, so there will be additional costs of about 60$ per year if you use the device every day.

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Putting the tool to use

After unboxing the first question was: OK, what now? No manual, no “getting started sheet”. I went to the homepage, searched the FAQ and finally found what I was looking for – this could be a bit easier. The information is buried quite deep.

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Android app crashes – iOS works though

OK, I did as I was told, loaded the headband and downloaded the android app. At step 6 I came to a sudden halt: The android app crashed evertime I tried to start it. No chance. After one hour of reinstalling and hunting for a solution online, I gave up and produced my good old iPad1 device and behold: the iOS app worked smoothly – yeah.

The device talks to the phone/tablet via bluetooth. In order for the smart alarm (the app tries to wake you at the perfect moment in just the right sleep stage) to work properly, you have to keep the phone/tablet connected to the zeo all night and since this will drain a lot of energy, the app only lets you “start tracking” if the phone/tablet is connected to the powerline.

You can use it standlone though and transfer your sleep data afterwards when connected next time. But obviously the smart alarm cannot work like this.

Creating an online account at myzeo.com

This was the next step. Since the mobile apps are really only good for data collection, you will need this account, if you want to get a benefit from your tracked data.

The process is quite smooth. Nicely done wizard which created a user profile by asking lots of questions. Some screenshots below:

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The Sleep Coaching

This profile is the starting point for zeo’s sleep coaching program which aims to optimize your sleep step by step in different  areas that affect the qualitiy of sleep.

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The answers I gave to the wizard let to the recommandation to take especially “Step 7” of the coaching program “Harmonize with your housemates” – I am curious which tips can keep the kids (1 year old boy and 3 year old twins) from interrupting our sleep :-)

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First time in action

I used the device for the first time during the 22:30 nap tonight. The headband did not trouble me at all, but the thought “brand new device is just measuring your brainwaves” did interfere with my ability to fall asleep instantly – so I reset my timer after 5 minutes and restarted, resulting to a 27 minutes total time in bed.

Here is the result:

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  • Time to fall asleep: 13 minutes.
  • Time slept: 14 minutes,
  • 2 minutes REM,
  • 13 minutes light sleep

(ahh- this would be 15 minutes of sleep though, probably some rounding issue).

Conclusion:

I already love this. The device seems to be high quality. The online app looks very promising. I have no problems wearing the headband during sleep.

The mobile apps could be improved though. My android app did not start at all and the iOS app could be more sophisticated (especially if used on a tablet with lots of space).

Also a little hint as how to get started would be very useful within the package.

But these are minor issues. All in all I have a good feeling that I can recommend the Zeo tool after a period of serious testing.

9 thoughts on “ZEO Device arrived – Unboxing and first review

  1. Pingback: Excellent Zeo Description / Review | *Transcendental *Logic

  2. James at Intus

    Hi Tobias,
    Great write-up, we love it when bloggers go in this much detail.

    Just a quick comment, and I know it’s not THE most obvious thing, so easy to overlook, but you see the flap inside the box? If you pull this out, that is the manual, pretty much the same as what you found on the website.

    By the way, which Android phone did you use? If it’s on the supported devices list, it should work just fine. Even unsupported Android phones, if they are modern ones with up to date OS, then it should still have a decent chance to work.

    Lastly, regarding rounding, note that the bar chart reports in 5 minute epochs. One bar is 5 minutes. It has a rules based system to decide which ‘colour’, or which sleep stage that one bar gets. But now look in the app, or in the account at the bottom near the pie chart, there you see the ‘exact’ per minute breakdown. We can point you to a more detailed explanation of the algorithm is you are keen.
    Happy sleeps, hope it’s not too warm!

    Regards,

    Johan

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Johan,

      thanks for this info. I truly found this sheet inside the box. I will update my review shortly. Cool that you obviously take the time to scan the internet for zeo related topics – very good attitude.

      My Android Phone was a LG Optimus 3D. I did not check whether it is on the compatibility list though – my iPad Solution works fine.

      As to the bar chart: I exported the data from the web app and found that here the reports are segmented in 30 second chunks which i believe is the interval in which the sensors log the current state?

      Last not least: Since this is a site dedicated to polyphasic sleeping, I am not that glad with your web application, which obviously analyzes only one sleeping period per day. But I already found some people who directly access the sensor data via blue tooth – which is obviously supported by you folks, which would be a great thing. Then I could incorporate your sensor data within my own sleep tracking app (the intent of which is completely different from your coaching approach).

      I might come back to you with this one :-)

      Regards

      Tobias

      1. James at Intus

        Yes, you’re right, in many ways it’s the ideal polyphasic sleepers’ tool but from the ground up, it was built to log 1 sleep per 24 hour window. That’s a tricky one indeed but as you found out, the polyphasic community has already found ways around that limitation (download the data after every nap).

        Regarding naps, there is talk of (but as the distributors, we can’t make any promises or official statements on that) an app feature where you set nap time alarm, instead of a standard alarm. With a standard alarm, you say “wake me up at 14:00″ when you go to sleep at 13:40 and you keep your fingers crossed you actually get to nap for 20 minutes. The new idea aims to allow you to set a 20 minute nap time, and when you start at 13:40 but only fall asleep at 13:45, then it will wake you at 14:05 instead, to truly give you a 20 minute nap, instead of a 20 minute sleep-potential window.

        That would be nice, wouldn’t it?!

        1. admin Post author

          Indeed it would! This would almost make the purchase of a zeo device mandatory for any polyphaser. You just earned another entry in my so highly frequented blog :-) I will make sure to emphasize that this is no official statement or promise though.

  3. Bnax

    Finally, a detailed review! Thx so much. One question: does the supporting website use Flash? I replaced my FitBit with a FuelBand, initially b/c the FitBit site made for near-useless viewing via iPad. (Subsequently, I’m thrilled with the FuelBand — hugely helpful website, and the device is motivating & downright fun, which keeps me faithful.) I was just at Amazon, and about to click the Zeo order button, but held off as I refuse to set myself up for Flash hassles again.

    1. admin Post author

      Yes. Unfortunately it does use flash.

      The actual web app is to be found at http://mysleep.myzeo.com/. I would also prefer a “flashless” version, but at least the mobile (tracking) tools are native iOS / Android. So you can track with iOS, but review with flash only…

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