Long distance relationships are hard. The odds of a couple making it through the ordeal are staggeringly slim without face-to-face communication and intimacy. Sure, you could Skype with your significant other every night and send photos of your daily experiences, but for some reason, these efforts are not enough to keep the love juices flowing. Until you can hear your lover’s heartbeat while sleeping, your long distance fiasco will never work out. Wait, what?
That’s the concept that Little Riot is running with for its upcoming wearable. It sounds crazy, because it is and people want it. “Pillow Talk is not a conventional wearable; it’s not a fitness or sleep tracker or any sort of ‘qualified self’ product,” said 28-year-old interaction designer Joanna Montgomery, the founder and CEO of Little Riot. “Pillow Talk is about communication and feeling connected to someone.”
According to the startup, around 50,000 love-thirsty people can’t wait to get their hands on the device. In fact, Montgomery herself doubted her own invention numerous times, but requests kept coming in and backers egged her on to push through with the whimsical gadget. Surprisingly, the company has raised over $380,000 in funding from several notable investors, including Telefónica’s London startup accelerator, Wayra.
How does it work?
Individuals who want to supplement their long distance connections with the device will receive a Pillow Talk kit. Inside you’ll find a wristband, speaker and instructions to download the official app. The band accurately detects your heartbeat and sends the data wirelessly to the other person’s speaker, which ideally should be located under his or her pillow. The same setup is reciprocated for your partner. All of the components are conveniently synced together through the mobile app.
The device is targeted for military families and students who are separated due to a change in location preferences. Ultimately, there may not be any substantial proof that hearing your lover’s heartbeat will make the current situation better. On the other hand, we’ve all had a shot at a long distance relationship, and know that anything familiar, from a soothing scent to a symbolic shirt, can prevent the emotional bond from turning cold. In this case, fueling that fire just happens to be a heartbeat.
Where can I get one?
The wearable is live on Kickstarter for a limited time. Individuals can get a kit for $80 under the Early Bird tier. Note that this option is only good for one person. There’s not much you can do with one kit. You’ll have to either pledge twice for the single tiers or buy the Duo package, which costs $150, for a complete experience. Delivery for the pre-orders is scheduled in May 2016. Key rings and customized love letters are also available on the online campaign.
“This product meets the needs and wants generated by the ever growing complexity of the digital world by presenting a new and previously unexplored way for humans to interact with technology, creating an immersive experience which currently cannot be matched,” explained Gary Stewart, director at Wayra UK.