Developer: Dark Star Apps, Inc.
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
If you’ve ever wanted to prove just how loudly your significant other snores or that they really do steal your covers, then you guessed it – there’s an app for that. SleepKeeper is a simultaneously creepy and fascinating app that tells your iPhone or iPad to take incremental photos and sound recordings while running. Designed to be used during sleep, SleepKeeper compiles the photos taken into a brief “sleep theater” time-lapse video that lets you see what you or others do while sleeping.
On the one hand, SleepKeeper acts as a quasi amateur sleep study. The increments for photo taking can be set to 5, 7, 10, 15 or 30 minutes and the duration of the incremental sound recordings can be set to 5, 10 or 15 seconds. For fun, SleepKeeper throws in a “graph lab” that organizes sleep sessions into a timeline and “records” the stages of sleep. Being realistic about sleep studies, the graph lab obviously isn’t capable of actually measuring stages of sleep, but it does give you the opportunity to view photos taken at or around a specific point on the time line. There may be no way for SleepKeeper to actually show you when you or your subject reaches REM, but it could be interesting to see what you look like at 1:00 a.m. versus 5:00 a.m.
Semi-scientific entertainment aside, SleepKeeper is a bit creepy and unless you are a sound sleeper, the intermittent flashes from the camera are definitely going to interfere with your rest – not to mention the thought that you’re basically recording yourself sleeping. Nonetheless, SleepKeeper really is an ideal way to capture yourself or others – with permission of course. Essentially you could set SleepKeeper to take time-lapse photos of your dog in the middle of the night or see how frequently a sleeping infant changes position. It’s not exactly high-tech, but snapping a picture every few minutes does give some insight as to what transpires over a longer period of time.
SleepKeeper is simple to set up and there’s a brief picture tutorial to get you started. It employs the rear-facing camera, not front facing, requiring users to determine placement and view for self-study before actually climbing into bed. Light sleepers will definitely be aware of the camera invasion as the flash is pretty bright in a dark room and though the noise is minimal, there’s still sound. You’ll also need a way to keep your iPhone or iPad standing horizontally upright and plugged into a power source for the night – a feat that may or may not be tricky depending on your available accessories. If you want to be really bizarre, you can share your “sleep theater” video compilation – complete with musical accompaniment – with others via email.
SleepKeeper was designed to be merely entertaining and self-serving, rather than a stalker surveillance tool so be sure to use it accordingly. You can’t diagnose sleep apnea with SleepKeeper, but it does provide a brief insight into the world of sleep. It functions the way it claims, captures the photos and sounds according to your settings and costs just a buck. Even if you aren’t curious about the way you sleep, capturing your significant other hogging the covers, snoring or making other *ahem* noises in their sleep may be priceless.