Do you travel much on business? Deployed or away at school? If there’s someone at home you miss terribly and wish you were near, traveling away from home can be a hollow part of life. Staying in strange rooms away from loved ones, no matter how fancy the hotel, how wonderful the meals, and how stimulating the work or people, isn’t the live many would choose, especially people with families. Being away from loved ones isn’t just romantic deprivation, however, there are also health concerns, in the most extreme cases severe separation anxiety disorder, but also because loneliness or concern for an absent loved one can disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Phone calls home can help, and video conferencing with Facetime, Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts are even better, but when the call is over, the connection is lost.
Little Riot’s Pillow Talk promises an answer for separated loved ones. Pillow Talk launched a successful KickStarter campaign in late 2015 and quickly exceeded their goal. To date more than 50,000 people are on the waiting list for Pillow Talk, which is currently slated to ship early second quarter 2016. Pillow talk has four components — two wrist bands and two speakers — that connect via smartphone application. Each wrist band detects the wearer’s heartbeat and transmits it to the other person’s speaker, which is designed to be placed under a pillow. When one person starts the app the other receives a smartphone invitation to “pillow talk.”
There are some potential disconnects or questions, the first of which involves time zones. If loved ones are traveling or stationed in a distant time zone, there might not be much if any sleeping time overlap. It also might not be all that restful if the person traveling or at home is out late, for example at a sporting event, and the other person is trying to sleep, though the answer in that case would be not to accept the pillow talk invitation. It could also be disconcerting if the Internet connection is lost on one end, which might arise significant concern about the other person’s health. Over-involved parents or clinging children might think Pillow Talk is a great idea to for a child going off to college, to summer camp, or even childhood sleepovers; some might question whether this is a good idea. For couples who are close and would like to stay in touch, however, Pillow Talk provides a way to not only give someone your heart, but to listen to it while you fall asleep.