They love being the little spoon, they meditate, and they promise to wake you up gently after your night together. No, it's not your latest Tinder match, it's Somnox , the "world's first sleep robot" that's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Depending on your definition of "robot" that claim is a little dubious, but I cover a lot ofsleep tech here at Mashable and have never seen anything like it. Most products to improve your sleep are supposed to be inconspicuous. They fall into two camps: smart devices for your bedside table or improved versions of bedding/mattresses. Somnox is something different. It looks like a giant packing peanut and is made to be cuddled all night.
Somnox aims to soothe you to sleep with non-invasive and non-medical means. The soft pillow is embedded with a speaker that can be programmed to play heartbeats, guided meditations, or soft music. You can even upload your own audio. The volume will decrease as you drift off to sleep and eventually cut off when you're down for the night.
Tons of sleep tech comes with soothing sounds, though. What makes Somnox stand out is its pulsating "breathing." The pillow rises and falls like a person's chest as they breathe at a calm rate. Ideally you'll match your breathing to Somnox's rhythm, lulling your brain and body into the perfect sleep state. This is the same concept behind the popular bedside device Dodow , but the huggable pillow adds a level of comfort we haven't yet seen in sleep aids for adults.
Like any good piece of tech, Somnox has an app that lets you set your breathing and audio preferences. You can also set an alarm and Somnox will wake you up gently with music and breathing. It doesn't yet have a way to track you sleep data, which seems weird given that the technology is so ubiquitous you can get it in a free app on your phone, but the Kickstater page indicates that it's a feature they plan to include in future updates.
Somnox will definitely be at the high end of sleep tech at a retail price of almost $700. It's clearly resonated with people, though. Despite the high price tag, the Kickstarter project was 100% funded in just four days.
You can preorder a Somnox now for €449 (about $533.) They're also offering Somnox branded socks and "pyjamas" (they're European) as smaller pledge tiers if you want to get in on the sleep robot action without dropping half a grand on a pillow.