Boffins dream up computerised bed

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Boffins have designed a super-bed that includes a full home entertainment centre, sleep diagnostic system and temperature control..

The Starry Night bed was developed by designers at Leggett & Platt after conducting a poll to find out what we get up to in bed.

"Consumers told us that they use their beds for much more than sleep," said Mark Quinn, group executive vice president of sales and marketing for the bedding division at Leggett & Platt.

"The bed is a place for reading, watching movies, spending time with the kids, listening to music and even folding laundry.

"There are cars that park themselves and devices programmed to refrigerate and cook our food. But the bed has generally been a passive, inanimate object."

The bed uses vibration sensor and load cell technologies to measure the degree to which a sleeper tosses and turns, and how often they get out of bed during the night, and monitors the breathing patterns that indicate relaxation.

These movements are compared to a 30-day baseline measure of the sleeper, and provide tips to improve sleep quality.

The bed also detects snoring with a vibration-detection system and automatically articulates the sleeper's position by seven degrees to open the nasal passages.

Leggett & Platt claims that this helps to alleviate mild to moderate snoring. Once the snoring subsides, the bed returns to its original position.

Liquid-based Peltier technology allows the mattress to pre-heat or pre-cool both sides of the bed independently from 20 to 47 degrees Celsius.

For those who enjoy listening to music or watching movies in bed, the bed boasts a full surround-sound system with retractable speakers and a 1080p LCD headboard projector to project a 120in image on the opposite wall.

The inbuilt computer boasts 1.5TB of solid state storage, 4GB of Ram, Wi-Fi and a wireless keyboard. The entire system can be controlled through a touch-screen or wireless remote via Microsoft's Media Centre.

"It is time that our bed becomes our sleep counsellor. When we improve our sleep, we can improve our quality of life," said Quinn.

The Starry Night bed is expected to be available in the first half of 2009 and will cost between US$20,000 and US$50,000, depending on features.
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