Ford invents smart mattress with Lane-Keeping Aid technology
Ford has invented a new Lane-Keeping Bed, which promises to help couples get a better night’s sleep.
The smart bed can identify when a “selfish sleeper” has rolled onto their partner’s side of the mattress and act to put them back in their place.
The smart bed utilises technology from Ford’s Lane-Keeping Aid technology, which is used in their cars. The technology monitors road markings ahead of the vehicle and “nudges” the steering wheel in the opposite direction if it senses the driver is too close to another lane.
In similar fashion, the Lane-Keeping Bed contains pressure sensors that can identify when a sleeper has crossed into their partner’s side of the bed, much like when a Ford car is too close to the road markings of another lane.
The mattress shifts both sleepers back into a position where they both have an equal half of the bed.
Ford said its invention would help people in relationships which are affected by sleeping problems.
The company referred to the advice of independent sleep expert Neil Stanley, who said that he’s seen sleep-related disputes “ruin relationships”.
“When sleeping together, many couples each have less space than a small child has in a single bed,” said Mr Stanley. “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 defence mechanism will kick in and you’ll have a broken night, often while they continue to sleep soundly.”
The Lane-Keeping Bed is part of Ford’s Interventions series, which applies the company’s automotive experience to help solve everyday problems. It’s also a promotional exercise to bring consumers’ attention to car features they may have overlooked.
“Lane-Keeping Aid in our cars can make driving easier and more comfortable,” said Ford of Europe Marketing Communications Director, Anthony Ireson.
“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.”
There has been increased interest in such technology, due to poor sleep linked to health problems such as obesity and diabetes.