It’s 2017 and technology is all the rage. Every new billionaire created nowadays is usually tech related and big data is everywhere; why do you think all the ads you see when scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed seems to be just right for you? Well, a new smart pillow, called Zeeq, aims to integrate sleeping with advanced technology and data mining in order to create maximal sleep optimization. The project started in July 2016 with a funding goal of $100,000 however the campaign has now ended as the project raised $400,000 before the end of August. Production has already begun in China and India. Let’s take a look at what this pillow has to offer.
First off, you should know that this pillow is not going to come cheap; while it has been offered on Kickstarter for an early bird price of $179, the MSRP is actually $299. Just let that sink in for a moment. The question is, what do you actually get for that price? Well the Zeeq pillow comes equipped with the following built-in to the pillow: 8 speakers, 1 microphone, a 3-axis gyroscope, a vibration motor, and a 5000 mAh battery to power it all. Rechargeable of course with an estimated battery life of 5 to 10 days. Oh and it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth too of course. All those electronics sound pretty fancy, you might be thinking, but how can it actually help me get a better sleep? Read on.
The pillow is designed to prevent you from snoring; it does this using the microphone obviously, and when it detects snoring, the pillow vibrates in order to prompt you to switch sleeping positions. The vibration level is also customizable so you can adjust depending on how heavy or light a sleeper you are. You can also set the threshold as to when the pillow will start vibrating, for example some people snore very lightly without any issues so it would be annoying for a pillow to keep vibrating when you are indeed having a good sleep.
As for the 8 built-in speakers if you are the type that falls asleep better with music on but your bed partner does not, then the Zeeq pillow is a great choice, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your phone to the pillow. And don’t worry about waking up your partner; the speakers are designed in such a way that you can only hear them when your head is pressed directly into the pillow.
As for the gyroscope, this is where the data collecting comes in. The gyroscope will detect your unconscious movements throughout the night and in the morning, the Zeeq app will assign you a ‘Sleep Score’, which supposedly measures how deep and restful of a sleep you get. They are not the first to do this; there are many mobile apps that use your smartphone to monitor your sleep movements and assign you a similar sleep score, as well as waking you up gently (so that it doesn’t disrupt your REM sleep). Zeeq also has an alarm function, using the vibration feature to wake the sleeper up, it offers the option of waking up at a specific time or ‘Smartwake’ that is designed to wake the sleeper up at the end of a sleep cycle.
In order to use the pillow, you’re supposed to fire up the smartphone app before you go to bed and set your desired wake up time, snoring levels, and music. And then let the pillow do the rest of the work. After reading all of this, you may now think, wow, that pillow sounds really hi-tech but is it actually comfortable? And is it easy to maintain? Let’s take a look at these questions.
The Zeeq pillow’s filling is shredded memory foam (which provides additional ventilation so it doesn’t get too hot) meaning that it’s likely firmer than most other kinds of pillows. As it is made from memory foam, it is suitable for people who suffer from neck pain. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if it joins this list of best pillow for neck pain 2017. And even with all those electronics in there, you don’t have to treat the Zeeq like some sort of delicate flower; you can sleep on either side, squish it, contour it, and fluff it up without issues. As such, it’ll probably make a great side sleeper pillow although the manufacturers claim it’s ideal for all sleeping positions.
And what about maintenance? Zeeq’s makers assure us that all the electronic components in the pillow are encased in a waterproof membrane, and the pillowcase, which is made of Tencel fabric is waterproof as well. The pillowcase is washable but the pillow itself is obviously not. This is no different than most memory foam pillows however.
In conclusion, most of the technology that Zeeq has is already replicated elsewhere; we have vibrating pillows, speaker pillows, alarm clock pillows etc. What Zeeq has done is to put all of that technology into one integrated (and expensive) package. Is all that worth the $299 sticker price? I suppose only time will tell.