[Interactive Devices] Device of the Week IV – Somnox

By TU Delft (Delft Technical University)

Somnox, displayed at the Dutch Design Week 2017, is the first non-medicinal robot which aims at those struggling to fall asleep. This pillow combats insomnia by “breathing” in and out as users hold it close. A research has suggested that calm breathing influences the amygdala in the brain, playing a role in our emotional wellbeing. 

How It Works?
Sensors are embedded into the pillow which collect data to determine whether the user is awake or asleep. An algorithm is then used to interpret the data and change its “breathing” in response. The device’s slow, regular rhythm of breathing will help soothe users to sleep.

“It will recognise you and change its settings automatically.” -TU Delft

An additional feature that the team has implemented is a built-in Bluetooth speaker for users to listen to music, or hear a bedtime story. Somnox can be set to emit gradually increasing light in the mornings, simulating a sunrise.

The Pros
Somnox is definitely an innovative device as it addresses an important problem in society, especially students like myself. Since it is controlled by a mobile application and can offer light and sounds, it should be easy and appealing for an ordinary user. I would not mind having an additional pillow while I sleep during the night which does something extra for me. 

The Cons
This is the first device that I have no concerns with. They have done a lot of scientific research and created multiple prototypes so far that I could not think of a flaw. I also believe that this product has potential to be a success.

A Future Development
They can add features like monitoring our sleeping patterns and even a vibration alarm to wake users up. 


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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

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