A device that allows loved ones in long-distance relationships to listen to their partner’s heartbeat was launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter on Tuesday by a London startup.
Little Riot, a Telefónica-backed company, is looking to raise $113,000 (£75,000) for its “Pillow Talk” product, which picks up a user’s heartbeat in real time and transmits it over the internet to a device under their partner’s pillow.
The Pillow Talk kit, expected to retail at $89 (£65), consists of a wristband, a speaker and an app.
The wristband detects the user’s heartbeat, which is then sent to the speaker under their lover’s pillow via the app.
“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.”
Little Riot believes Pillow Talk will prove popular with military families in which one person in the relationship is based overseas for long periods of time. It could also take off with students that are in a relationship but studying at different universities, according to the company.
More than 50,000 people are on the waiting list for Pillow Talk, but the only Pillow Talk device that has been manufactured to date is a £600 prototype. Little Riot hopes to use the Kickstarter funding to get more Pillow Talk devices made.
Little Riot has already raised £250,000 from private investors and is one of several early-stage startups based out of Telefónica’s London startup accelerator, Wayra.
Gary Stewart, director at Wayra UK, said: “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 immerse experience which currently cannot be matched.”