Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

Pillow talk re-imagined

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Pillow Talk ring (photo from www.littleriot.co.uk)

Pillow Talk ring (photo from www.littleriot.co.uk)

Here’s a pair of gadgets that will warm your heart.

Romantic partners use Pillow Talk communication rings when they’re apart from each other overnight. The goal is to make the partners feel more tightly connected to each other.

Here’s the description from the inventor’s website:

Pillow Talk is a project aiming to connect long distance lovers. Each person has a pillow for their bed and a ring sensor which they wear to sleep at night. The sensor wirelessly communicates with the other person’s pillow; when one person goes to bed, their lover’s pillow begins to glow softly to indicate their presence. Placing your head on the pillow allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your loved one. The result is an intimate interaction between two lovers, regardless of the distance between them.

Reading about this product brought tears to my eyes it’s so simple and sweet. I wish I had thought of this. It’s a genuinely thoughtful use of technology to improve the human condition. Here’s the promotional video. Warning: you may cry when watching this! I did.

I have a big improvement for this pair of devices:

Make the pillows talk. After all, the product is called Pillow Talk, not Pillow Heartbeat.

Since voice consumes so little bandwidth, and Skype-to-Skype calls are free and may be of unlimited duration, I suggest the pillows be outfitted with speakers and microphones that stay on all night, so the other partner can hear the other breath. If the lovebirds want to talk, they can just start talking.

This ‘always on’ connectivity might take some getting used to, but I think such a system would for some become a must have product that they would miss terribly if it were taken away. The pull on the heart strings would be so powerful once a couple got used to ‘sleeping with their sweetie remotely’ that they wouldn’t want to give up the experience.

When I was a teenager, the father of one of my next door neighbors died without warning of a brain annurism. My mother was good friends with the mother whose husband had just died. My mother told me how much her friend told her that she missed hearing her husband snore. That story was so sad to me back then, and it still made me cry as I wrote this piece, years later. I was a teenager when this happened.

There is something so powerful about just sleeping beside your mate. It’s so intimate and irreplaceable and special.

A true pillow talk system with heartbeat, breathing and two way voice could be one Valentines ‘technology gift’ that would be loved by both men and women.

I recommend that such a product be initially built as a USB pillowcase that would plug into a power brick that plugs into the wall. Inside the brick would be a small computer running Linux plus a WiFi transceiver that would connect to the home or hotel’s WiFi connection. This way a computer would not need to be by the bed and batteries would not need to be charged. It would also keep the radio frequency part of the system away from the heads of the sleepers, probably a good thing since some people might use such a system for months or years at a time, particularly when you consider military personnel away from home for long periods of time.

If Apple starts making what I just described, they should call it iSleep! They could make an iPhone charging cord that splits off in two wires: one to the power brick and one to the pillow. An iPhone certainly has all the computing power necessary, and many people already sleep with their phones.

I have too many projects to do in life, so if you like this, build it and pay me the industry mean royalty for similar ideas. Let me know when it launches!

One more joke: This is a true peer to peer system! P2P or ‘pillow to pillow’ lol…

Written by Kevin Warnock

November 10th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

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