The Happillow Project


[Harandi] wrote to us to let us know about a project he’s working on to improve our nightly rest. This is the Happillow. The Happillow is an alarm clock, as well as a snore relief system. We’re not sure that the snoring bothers us so much, but we’re sure our significant others appreciate that part. While pillows exist that are supposed to cut down on snoring, they generally have a specific shape to position your head properly, which should cut down on the snores. [Harandi] points out that this might be embarrassing to the user as it is obvious to anyone looking at the bed that they have a snore reducing pillow. The Happillow detects the noise and agitates you to get you to reposition yourself. We have actually seen a very similar project in the past with the Interactive Pillow project.

22 thoughts on “The Happillow Project

  1. As a person with partially obstructive sleep apnea– I have one concern with a device like this:
    This pillow functionally gives you half of sleep apnea — the sleep ‘arousal’ i.e. you partially wake-up each time you snore. This has some very bad long term effects on one’s health. I love the concept of this hack, just please use with caution.

    If you snore enough to be consider something like this as an option — please consult your doctor and have them run a sleep study.

    Hack on!

  2. this is an excellent project! i like how they executed it.
    the only question i have is: how is it powered?
    leds require a lot of power and as an alarmclock it should last at least 1 night ;-) – preferably half a year or more.. and a powercord would be a bit awkward.
    wireless power? i wouldn’t recommend that next to your head.
    but maybe a supercap charged during the day (when you’re not on the bed) with something like wireless power.

  3. I wouldn’t think this would make for better sleep. I personally seem to take longer than most people to enter REM sleep – this would probably wake me up completely since I’m a fairly light sleeper. I’d like to see something in the way of chilled/temperature regulated blankets or pillows, as it is much easier to fall asleep while warming up in a cool bed.

  4. @laube said: “leds require a lot of power…”

    Seriously? HID lamps require a lot of power. LEDs require very little power.

    I don’t really see a problem with a power cord; you just can’t flip your pillow through all the permutations. :)

  5. Haha one of the designers here (electronic parts) to answer some quesstions :
    Since it is a LED display with high efficiency SMD LEDs it does not consumes ‘that much’ energy. Each lit LED segment with maximum intensity consumes about 18mA (3 leds x 6mA) . Let’s say half of them (out of 28) are on and it will sum up to 14. So about 252mA maximum. using 2500mah nimh batteries this practically has to work for 10 hours.
    But display only runs at maximum intensity under bright sun/lights. With lower ambient light it fades the intensity (completely off during the night). Now it can work for a full day and night. This can easily be tripled with putting the leds in series (easiest modification).
    And still there are some more room for improvement . Suggestion of having a wireless power source for charging is also considered in future work.

  6. I love the controls, very well thought out, but I think it would screw something up while sleeping. I woke up this morning and both pillows were on the ground, folded up. So who knows what happened during the night, hah.

    But I guess the motion detection is better than putting buttons in your pillow.

  7. hmmmz, I’d include a small connector in a corner of the pillow for charging, so that you’d charge it during the day and when you go to bed you can simply remove the adapter :)

  8. Neat idea but you are supposed to really replace your pillow every 6-8 months for hygienic reasons…so to make this a module to insert into any pillow case would be much more cost efficient to the end user.

  9. @Alchemyguy
    yeah ok i’ve chosen the wrong words..
    as harandi pointed out a led uses about 20mW of power (white led @ 3.4v, 6mA)
    if we consider the on times of the segments (24 hour clock) we get an average count of lit segments of 18.2 (+ 1/3 for the blinking colon) which gives us an average powerconsumption of 370mW.
    With 4 2500mAh nimh cells you get 12Wh of power and given your driving circuit has 100% efficiency you get 32hours of operating time.
    and thats not alot for a time keeping device.

    but charging during the day is still possible..

  10. one way to solve the battery problem is to just have an alarm clock and a couple LEDs in the pillow. use the LEDs to flash as well as the vibrating etc. and have the alarm clock plugged into the wall outlet. the pillow will be in a constant power saving mode until the alarm clock sends out a signal to wake you up. this should vastly increase battery life but it does tether the clock to the wall. also, nightlight mode.

  11. Very, very cool. I love the user interface! I’d buy one….the graduated alarm function is something I’ve always wanted. A slow, gradual wake-up would be so much more comfortable than that terrible sound most alarm clocks jolt you awake with. Keep up the good work!

  12. An easy solution to the changing pillow thing would be to make it in a pillow case not a pillow itself so you can put any pillow you want inside. Looking at how its made it looks like it would be very easy to convert this from a pillow to a pillow case. Although a unit that can be placed inside a pillow would be best as i dont see how you could wash it if it was a pillow case. in all becides the snore thing i think this a kinda cool and something i might use as a gentle vibration would be a nice wake up rather than the BEEP BEEP. when i hear that sound on tv it makes me cringe because it reminds me of not wanting to wake up LOL. I used a beeping clock all my college years and now i cant stand it and use a clock radio and set it to white noise it is less intrusive than the BEEP.

  13. u said that if we move the pillow up and down the alarm gets on and off but while sleeping we move the pillow randomly in that random moves there is a chance for the alarm to get off
    think this will be a problem ???

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