There’s nothing to set you on edge like drifting off to sleep then having the sudden thought that someone (or something) is watching you. Brrrrrr. The stuff of successive nightmares of course, but how about if that unwelcome gaze came from helpful sensors that monitor you while you sleep?
This is what NMinusOne and Rodolphe el-Khoury created at the RAD laboratory at the University of Toronto. Im Blanky is a responsive blanket has 104 tilt sensors arranged in hexagons within its floral pattern which monitor its changing state. Through a controller on the back, it wirelessly sends this data to a computer which recreates a virtual model of the blanket in real time. So when you start wrestling bears in your sleep, the digital model will move appropriately.
As well as monitoring hospital patients and insomniacs, it also points to a future in which more and more of our household devices will become augmented with technology, making them more “intelligent” and hooked up to the network, able to feed into it to give us the interconnected home of tomorrow which knows what we want before we do.
“We tried to think about a confrontation of a computer and its cold rationality to the soft warm fuzziness of a blanket,” said RAD laboratory’s co-director Carol Moukheiber to CTV News. “What happens when you add a tiny computer to an ornamental object? What would it do?”