Pillow technology is the next big frontier! Yes, the humble pillow is just waiting to be revolutionized and fully enabled. It is the closest thing to our heart, at least when we are in bed. So many types and styles, so little technology. From a simple neck pillow, which could have surround sound, to the full body pillow, that could vibrate in thousands of dream inducing ways, It’s a green field opportunity. Google, Apple and Samsung have already keyed up Entrepreneurs will soon rest their head on this idea. Don’t think so? Sleep on it a minute. In the meantime, consider this.
I am not talking about the tech inspired pillows, no. The poor Nasa inspired Temura pillow almost seems like a relic already in this club.
I am not even talking about technologically created pillows which sort of connect functionality with real products we already have.
I am talking about new pillows that will be directly tied to your environment as an Internet of Everything device. Linked to your phone and keyed to your biometric stats. All of which advises you on what the best possible sleeping posture is for you on any given day after any given activity.
Here are some of the “basic” features and functions:
- Snore nudge
- Ambiant wake up
- EEG nuro-transmitters
- Embedded organic nano fibers that can, add backlighting, remain sterile, form memories of your preferred sleep positions and shift between them, etc.
- Self reducing in size through Bucky Ball type bonds to a flat surface that expands when needed
- Paired with your partners pillow to sync up ambient experiences
- Networked with other pillows you need for under knees and back
- Baby monitor
- Bluetooth headset
- Printed digital content displays that show expected life cycles, material manifests, recalls possible expirations dates of contents
- Dynamic scents and cold spot rotation. Who always wants that cool spot?
- Notifications of conflict free materials and where they came from on a map that 3d printed in nano fabric from google.
- The list goes on
It’s a brave new world in the connect everything market. Iot and IoE devices connected to the cloud, compared with your demographic and genetic type giving you constant feedback such as the best neck placement position, ear wax levels, or hair density with Rogaine advertisements were approprate. All this while monitoring your EEG waves for the ultimate sleep experience. Imagine sharing dreams with your significant other, should you choose. What a glorious green field when this patented technology is licensed to everything including your couch, airline seat or linked to your babies crib synced up to warn you if they skip a breath or roll over.
So where is the catch? Just the one thing keeps getting in the way of this amazing future. My hand. Why is it that every time I really think about this product and my Patent Pending, (which I am filing, so back off), I find myself resting on my hand, even when I am on my pillow? Or worse yet, beside my pillow! I use my hand when sleeping in an airport or on a plane often enough. Yet, contrary to the data, it’s always something I find sneaking into my sleep pattern here and there, and that’s the problem with technology.
Boarder cases. As technology advances, we are running exponentially headlong into making even the most mundane things into technology commodities. They deplete our resources and have so many boarder cases they tend to please no one. This trend spawns redundant systems, such as mattresses that sync with our pillows which become necessary due to these endless boarder cases. That is Brookstones whole business model. In the worse case, our pillow alerts us at all hours, telling us to get back in place, which you can imagine does more harm than good. Business becomes concerned with worker productivity and the FDA regulates it. Let alone having to charge it all the time, or worse, plug it in, which creates even more risks. Then there is the updates, which you may or may not want given your pillow might be hacked.
It’s this rush to creation that often inspires new opportunity, or simply wasted time and product space “As Seen On TV”. As we see with Kickstarter, the world can support only so many new fantastic potato salads, smart can openers, step trackers, or even digitally modified bedding. I am not saying that we should not try, or explore truly inspiring ideas, but the headlong rush to rest our heads on new technology is sometimes misplaced, and at worse depleting our worlds resources. Sadly, we have proven that it’s not really technology that creates this drive, we have had this since Snake Oil.
“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase most likely spoken by David Hannum, in criticism of both P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid 1800s, and his customers. The phrase is often credited to Barnum himself. It means “Many people are gullible, and we can expect this to continue.”
So, instead of blaming the Silicon Valley, blame yourself. Stop funding, buying, and otherwise encouraging foolish technology while trying to shift blame on the creators. If there is no perception of a market, trust me, no one will try and be an Entrepreneur for it. Every apparently crazy and sometimes foolish idea is there because someone expressed a real interest, or at least falsely affirmed an Entrepreneurs dream. So have some guts, and say no once in a while. The supply will stop when the demand drops. So will the trite complaints that technology is ruining the world and quality of life. What’s ruining the world is trying to fix things that are not broken.