Personal tech manufacturers have multiple entries in the market for personal monitoring and wearable gadgets today. Fitness trackers are an example of a device category that blends both trends in one product. What happens when you bring in a third category, though – adaptable furniture? A smart bed is what you get. While smart beds are expensive today, the concept is completely likely to take over the world of sleep furniture soon.
The smart bedroom of the future will have technology at every turn. It will have smart windows that alter their opacity depending on the time of day, working in conjunction with seasonally adaptive lighting. It will also have adaptable furniture that changes shape depending on what you want it to do. The adaptable furniture part of the puzzle is already here in the form of the smart bed.
Three popular tech trends in one
Smart beds are at the intersection of 3 popular technology trends – adaptable furniture, wearable technology and personal monitoring technology. They qualify as personal monitoring technology because they come with health monitoring sensors built into the surface to monitor the state of your health through the night. Since a bed is something that you drape yourself over, it’s fair to call a technology-studded bed wearable technology, too. Finally smart beds are adaptable – their inbuilt computers and motors help you make all kinds of remote-controlled shape adjustments.
Smart beds mainly sell themselves on sleep comfort
Smart beds come with sensors that measure heart rate, motion and breathing rate. Information from these sensors is fed to the onboard computer and used to automatically determine the best mattress firmness and angle for sound sleep.
These settings can also be set with simple, spoken commands. For instance, you can issue a spoken command like, “Mattress, go softer” and see it right away follow your instructions. Thoughtfully, smart beds come with the ability to make independent settings for each side of the bed.
On the Sleep Number X12 (Pictured below), one of the first commercially available smart bed products on the market, data collected by the sensors are available on a phone app. Each morning, you are assigned a sleep score based on the night you’ve had. Sleep Number’s app is noted for the accuracy of its sleep quality calculations.
The smartest part of the Sleep Number X12 is something that the company calls SleepIQ. This feature studies your sleep experience and makes different types of automatic mattress adjustments to allow better sleep. For instance, it can raise your head if you snore, to help clear your airways. It even asks you about your activity level and your caffeine consumption all day to tell you how it may affect your sleep.
The adaptable part
Smart beds know that beds aren’t just for sleeping – they are also for watching TV and reading on. They come with special positional settings for each kind of activity. There’s even under-bed lighting – to show you the way to the bathroom at night without blinding your partner. Such impressive features come at a price, of course – the bottom of the line queen-size Sleep Number model comes in at $8,000.
If 3 popular tech trends don’t do it for you…
While shape-changing beds with health monitoring are a useful concept, they may lack the killer feature that marketing departments usually need to create demand. At least one manufacturer has this angle taken care of, though – Ohea, a recent entrant to the smart bed space, has many of the features that the Sleep Number X12 has, along with one that is likely to stop shoppers in their tracks – the ability to straighten out the sheets and make itself. If nothing else, consumers could want to pay thousands for this one feature alone 🙂