In this Monday’s “Estelle Midi” at RMC and RMC Story, Anthony Morel delves into the technology behind “smart beds,” intelligent beds designed to improve, even change, our sleeping habits… and even make it possible to end the wars of couple ?
End the duvet war… The bed of the future will be intelligent and able to adapt to the individual needs of each sleeper. The “smart bed” will be able to act particularly at temperatures between those who sleep at -2°C with the window open and those who need a double duvet in summer and winter alike.
To avoid these uncomfortable fluctuations caused by the ambient heat of the room, the SleepNumber startup has developed a bed that will be able to create a microclimate on each side of the bed, adapted to the needs of each one. Via a smartphone application you select your preferences and the bed then learns from each person’s habits.
For example, on long winter evenings (or when you’re alone), it warms your feet or subtly lowers the temperature to help you fall asleep. The temperature then changes throughout the night to avoid waking you up because it’s too hot or too cold.
It is even possible to control the bed remotely before going to bed to avoid the “ice sheet” effect at bedtime. Conversely, in summer, this time with a gentle freshness without having to turn around every 5 minutes.
To prove the effectiveness of this smart bed, tests published in the Journal of Sleep Research show that volunteers fall asleep 58% faster than with a traditional mattress. This also applies to the firmness and shape of the mattress, which adapts to needs but also to movements during the night to avoid back pain in the morning.
While this innovation may seem like a gadget, “smart beds” are a real underlying trend. We encounter dozens of them at trade fairs for new technologies such as CES in Las Vegas. But at €10,000 per bed, you’ll have to wait a little longer to invest!
The “intelligent bed” in optimized medical assistance
Beyond temperature management and mattress shape, other companies offer beds that claim to be true medical assistants. Mattresses like that of Eight Sleep, for example, lined with electronic sensors coupled with algorithms that analyze in real time your temperature, breathing, heartbeat, but also certain factors such as light and heat.
Thanks to this multitude of sensors and algorithms, the smart bed then gives you advice to optimize your sleep and wake you up at the right time (and not in the middle of a deep sleep phase). The technology also focuses on the usefulness of such mattresses for athletes.
For example, ErgoMotion offers a bed that connects to your watch and fitness app to measure your recovery level using heart, breathing and movement sensors. Not bad for frequent runners: the bed, coupled with the app, tells you exactly when you can resume training without hurting yourself. The next step into the future is already known. The beds will be able to detect the early signs of certain diseases such as the flu and why not cysts or kidney stones.
A mattress to give everyone their place in bed
And finally, to avoid quarrels in the middle of the night when one of the two spouses takes up too much space in bed, a solution has also been found! This solution? The anti-invasion bed!
This smart bed aims to ruthlessly push your other half away when he or she starts encroaching on your territory (it’s configurable because there are times when you’ll want to get closer instead).
The origin of this technology is quite unexpected. The car manufacturer Ford is the origin of this innovation. In fact, the manufacturer has built Lane Keeping Assist into this bed, a feature that allows a car to automatically realign itself in its lane if you start getting a little too close to the white line or the pavement.
In this case, there are motion sensors placed in the mattress that analyze the degree of invasion. When you cross the center line, you’re basically sent back to your side by some sort of conveyor belt. At the moment it is a prototype and it is not known if it will be marketed one day. But it’s one of the amazing projects Ford is working on, integrating automotive technologies into a whole range of everyday objects.