For years, bed sharing couples have done the delicate dance between annoyance and assault. One partner leads by snoring, irritating the other awake. The second partner rouses, and swats at the other until the snoring dies down, and the dance continues. But what about people who have no partner to be annoyed with their snoring? Don’t worry, Japan has a robotic solution in the form of Jusui-Kun, the snore-swatting robotic pillow.
Shaped like an adorable polar bear, Jusui-Kun has an internal microphone that can detect snoring. However, there’s a lot more to this bear than snore swating. Using a wireless blood oxygen sensor shaped like a bear cub, Jusui-Kun monitors the sleepers vitals for signs of sleep apnea — a condition wherein a sleeper doesn’t receive adequate oxygen. Cleverly designed, the Jusui-Kun uses a special conductive sheet under the bed sheet to send information to the system’s control unit and keep wires away from the sleeper.
Using its sensors, Jusui-Kun detects when oxygen levels are falling and snoring increasing. When preset limits are reached, Jusui-Kun’s hand rises up and gently tickles the face of the sleeper, enticing them to roll over on his or her side. Sleeping on one’s side, as opposed to their back, opens air passageways, ceasing snoring and reducing the effects of sleep apnea.
While certainly a clever design, and one that could bring relief to millions of people, Jusui-Kun is also a reminder that no product can apparently come to market in Japan without being thoroughly encased in cute.
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