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October 20, 2005

Smart Sheets — Interactive bedding is here

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From WestPoint Home comes the next thing in bedroom style — washable bedding with conductive threads woven into the warp and weft of your favorite silky sheets and comforter that communicate — wirelessly — with your lights and appliances.

This is not April 1 and this is not The Onion.

Andrew Ferber, co–chairman of T–ink, the New York company with a patent on the technology, told Deborah Baldwin in a story in today's New York Times, "The printing is 'wires' going through the comforter, but it's integrated into the design and it's invisible and washable."

WestPoint says it is devising security codes to prevent your rolling over and inadvertently turning on the lights and starting up the coffeepot at 3 a.m.

The company is also developing bathroom capabilities, including tissue boxes that tune in FM radio and shower curtains that light up and emit sounds.

Ferber told Baldwin, "'The goal is to load intelligence in the room' so that its furnishings can be trained, say, to warm up or cool down in response to ambient temperatures."

Huh.

Why am I not more excited than I am about all this news?

Maybe you are.

If so, great news: an interactive Cinderella–theme comforter (above) "that lights up like Broadway and makes the sound of a fairy godmother's wand sweeping through the air" is headed for Sears, Mervyns and Wal–Mart as you read this.

Baldwin wrote, "J.C. Penney's website expects to have one for $60 in mid–November."

October 20, 2005 at 07:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

I agree, i think this is a wonderful invention. Im sometimes against the sheer amount of pointless and indulgent technology thats creeping into the shops. On the other hand, if we can use these skills to motivate children into positive things then surely that a great step. Parents accross the world go through similar struggles with children at bedtime and this will not only give the children better morale towards bed, but it will give parents a bit of their sanity back. Come on...its fun for everyone!

Posted by: Elly | Apr 11, 2008 10:24:09 AM

Actually this is pretty cool if you look at it as a kid would they dont look at it as technology or any creepiness factors they look at it as cool my blanket lights up, what kid would analize it like you adults that it creeps out thats showing how old you think and feel. Pretend when you were 5 wouldnt that be cool!

Posted by: eva | Oct 27, 2007 3:27:27 PM

It was a wise decision to try and capture the younger market, where it wont just "creep them out" instead allowing them to grow up with a product like this creates a need for it in the future. Imagine waking up with one of these blankets your whole life, and one day some designer comes up with an alarm that buzzes you awake with loud ringing. which would be more creepy?

Posted by: max | Oct 21, 2005 10:12:57 AM

Actually if they are hitting the $60 retail price target, it is something to be excited about. Here is yet another idea for someone to get rich off of.

Take one of these conductive bed deals, and instead of using it for control, use it for monitoring. For example, put temp sensors on it, and now you have a way to possibly predict pressure sores in geriatric patients. We looked at doing so in 1997, it was too spendy for the medical world, so we dropped it. If the tech is now way under $60, maybe even higher cost constrained nursing homes would be interested, especially with an ever growing shortage of staff. Then again, probably not, no medicare codes exist for such a device.

Yet another application is baby monitoring, perhaps set off an alarm if a physiological change is detected. It might be a real winner for anxious parents.

Posted by: Ron | Oct 21, 2005 8:14:24 AM

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