A robotic polar bear pillow that fights snoring
The video: You can now add "fights snoring" to the growing list of things robots can do. A new cuddly polar bear robot named Jukusui-kun — "deep sleep" in Japanese — promises to combat snoring and sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that can leave troubled sleepers unable to breathe. Just strap your hand into a device that measures your blood oxygen level, tuck yourself in under a sheet with built-in sensors, then plop down on the polar bear and get some shuteye. If you're having a hard time breathing, your blood oxygen level will drop, Jukusui-kun will realize it, and the bear's paw will tickle your forehead. (Watch the video below.) The idea is that you'll then roll over and resume normal breathing, without ever being woken up.
The reaction: "Why a polar bear?" asks Joseph Parish at The Verge. Maybe so this device could be both cuddly and creepy. Look, "the pillow itself looks comfortable," says Tyler Lee at Ubergizmo. But "sleeping with sensors under the sheets and a pulse meter attached" to your hand can't be "very convenient." Snoring is a problem around the world, says Matthew Humphries at Geek.com, but this strange solution is "definitely a case of 'only in Japan.'" Judge for yourself: