Ford has invented a prototype bed that automatically rolls selfish sleepers back to their side of the mattress whenever they stray onto the other half.
The car maker has adapted the lane-centering assist technology used to ensure drivers remain in the middle of their lane into a concept dubbed the Lane-Keeping Bed, in a bid to help sleep-deprived partners pushed to the edge of the bed at night.
Pressure sensors detect when a person moves from one side of the bed to the other, and gently rolls them back to their side with the help of an integrated conveyor belt.
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HOW DOES IT WORK?
Ford has built a smart bed with a mattress that shifts when a selfish sleeper takes up too much space.
The ‘Lane-Keeping bed’ uses motion control technology and a revolving mattress.
Electric engines built into the mattress propel a treadmill-like machine, which enables it to lightly shift people sleeping on top of the mattress.
It automatically adjusts to keep each partner on their own respective side.
The Lane-Keeping Bed was created as part of an exploratory project of the company’s technology aimed at tackling everyday problems and remains a prototype, meaning there are not any current plans to put it to market.
It’s equipped with electric engines and motion control technology that propel a treadmill-like machine inside the mattress.
When it senses a bed hog taking up too much space, it gently rolls them back over to their side of the bed without waking them up.
Ford worked with its ad agency, GTB, to design the smart bed.
First, it considered dividing the bed up into two sections, so that if a sleeper tried to hog the bed, the mattress would incline and roll them over, according to Fast Company.
However, they realized that to move a human body, the incline would have to be very steep, which might make the whole contraption unsafe.
Pressure sensors detect when a person moves from one side of the bed to the other, and gently rolls them back to their side with the help of an integrated conveyor belt
Additionally, before settling on pressure sensors, Ford designers considered using night-vision cameras to track the sleepers’ positions, but decided it would be too creepy.
Integrating pressure sensors into the mattress turned out to be the right solution, given that they’re out of sight of the sleeper.
The smart bed aims to tackle the problem of bed hogs, or sleepers who take up too much space while snoozing, often leaving their bedmate annoyed and at risk of losing out on a good night’s sleep.
According to Dr. Neil Stanley, a sleep expert and author, we often move unconsciously during a night’s sleep.
Each night, on average we make between 12 and 20 ‘major positional changes,’ he said.
Stanley added that this can cause sleep deprivation, which can prove to be a major problem for our physical, mental and emotional health.
‘When sleeping together, many couples each have less space than a small child has in a single bed,’ Stanley explained.
The smart bed aims to tackle the problem of bed hogs, or sleepers who take up too much space, often leaving their bedmate annoyed and at risk of losing out on a good night’s sleep
Ford’s prototype bed rolls selfish sleepers back to their side of the bed whenever they stray onto the other half. The new invention means you won’t be woken by space-hoggers mid-sleep
‘Humans are most vulnerable when sleeping, so we’re programmed to wake when something or someone touches us unexpectedly.
‘If someone moves onto your side of the bed this defense mechanism will kick in and you’ll have a broken night, often while they continue to sleep soundly. I’ve seen it ruin relationships,’ he added.
Ford decided to take a page from its Lane-Keeping car technology to craft the smart bed.
‘Lane-Keeping Assist in our cars can make driving easier and more comfortable,’ added Anthony Ireson, Ford of Europe’s marketing communication director.
‘We thought that showing how similar thinking could be applied to a bed, would be a great way to highlight to drivers a technology that they might not previously have been aware of.’