Thursday, January 25, 2007

Night night

I have had one of these pillows for years now to help save wear on my poor aching neck, though still do I sometimes wake up with soreness for several hours.
PillowsThe problem is that when I sleep on my side, I want to have my head on the higher edge of the pillow, and when I sleep on my back, on the lower edge, and that, being asleep, I don't always have the wherewithal to shift the position of the thing as I turn over.

I think someone should devise an automatic pillow which would adjust itself to the optimum height based on the orientation of the sleeper's body. An infrared camera positioned over the bed would determine whether a person were present (to avoid false actuation when a pet would jump up on the bed) and employ image recognition technology to identify who's present and to see whether the person's face were pointed upwards, to one side, or downwards. A very, very quiet servo mechanism (hydraulic rams? pneumatic? suspension cables?) would then gently adjust the top of the pillow to a pre-selected height for the sleeper.

Naturally, there would be a manual cutoff in case the occupant wanted to turn off the automatic adjustment function in certain circumstances. (Here I'm talking about reading in bed, folks.)

Optionally, a microphone could be used to detect snoring and tip the sleeper's head slightly in such a manner as to eliminate the problem. Also, for small infants, who are supposed to sleep on their backs, a similar system could be set up to send out an alarm if the child happens to be in a risky position during sleep. I think these two selling points would by themselves justify a good deal of interest if something like this could be brought to market.

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