“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984
Even Orwell didn’t envision when, even in the darkness of the night, every movement WILL be scrutinized if you purchase the growing line of internet connectedsmart beds. Take for example,
New technologies are reaching everywhere, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is giving a new life to our common household items. Nowadays, one of the goals tech companies have is to make all devices smart, which means giving them the ability to communicate, which is often done using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivities.
With technology spreading at this pace, we are developing the habit of taking gadgets to our beds. This is becoming really bad for us, as we are not taking advantage of the amazing memory foam mattresses available nowadays, we have less sleep quality and deteriorate the relationships with our significant others.
Regardless, the tech market is booming and beds do not escape this fever. Here are two excellent examples of this.
The IT Bed, by the American company Sleep Number, has built-in sensors in its mattress that detect changes in pressure “hundreds of times per second” – this is baptized as the SleepIQ technology. With this, the bed can measure the user’s heart and breathing rates, as well as the user’s general movements, to understand if the sleep is smooth or not.
All the data is then transmitted, via Bluetooth, to a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android. There is also the SleepIQ API, which allows the injection of data from other intelligent devices, so that the bed can suggest better sleep habits. This is done using an algorithm that analyses all this data and then gives some useful tips.
If comfort is important to you, with the Hi-Can you will not want to get out of bed. It is a bed with a futuristic design that was planned to gather comfort, convenience and technology all in one item.
The Hi-Can Fidelity Canopy, work of the Italian designer Edoardo Carlino, is focused on multimedia and has a screen and DVD player built in, which allows you to watch your favorite movies, play video games and even surf the Internet. The bed also features a sound system, lighting and integrated flaps.
In addition, this bed also allows users to control functions in the room. From a console it is possible, for example, to open the curtains, set the temperature and even turn the lights on or off. For now, the Hi-Can is not available, but more news can be accessed in its website.
The HI-Can bed is an excellent example of the disconnect between the IoT geeks who are designing these things and human biology. It is the advice of a number of sleep experts and sleep centres that the bedroom should be reserved for sleeping only with no nearby IT devices as a distraction, especially for teenagers. For example, he artificial light from screens has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns by suppressing melatonin production.
On the other hand you could combine the IT and HI-can beds with WiSee which uses WiFi signals to detect gestures (and body movements) from anywhere in your house – including what you might be doing in your bed, even if it is not a smart one…… And remember all this is prone to hacking and accessible to third parties. A Brave New World which Orwell and Huxley would well understand if they were here today.
To quote from the WiSee site:
WiSee, a gesture-recognition interface that uses WiFi to control things like sound systems and temperature settings. Since WiFi signals are capable of passing through walls, WiSee can detect gestures made from neighboring rooms, breaking free from the line-of-sight method relied on by devices like Kinect and Leap Motion. Unlike those two, WiSee doesn’t require an additional sensor; the software can theoretically be used with any WiFi-connected device and a router with multiple antennae to detect Doppler shifts created by movement.
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