St. Louis-based mattress producer Boyd Specialty Sleep has been awarded two patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its hand controllers, displays and software for use with airbeds and air mattresses.
The first of the new patents, No. US9501065, covers a hand controller for an air mattress that uses a series of colors and numbers to provide detailed feedback to sleepers about their comfort settings and preferences.
The patent applies to remote controls for either two-chamber or six-chamber airbeds, said President Denny Boyd in a news release. Each controller—one for each sleeper—displays incremental firmness levels from 1 to 100 and comfort indices from 1 to 4. These values are expressed in four quadrants depicting different colors and numbers that ultimately correlate to the comfort index.
The hand controller for a six-chamber air mattress, for example, has three settings for the head, lumbar and foot regions on each side of the bed. The comfort index at the top of the remote reflects the sleeper’s comfort preferences as captured in the color quadrants, as well as the matching, color-coded “firm,” “medium firm,” “medium plush” or “plush” designations at the bottom of the display. An auto-fill button enables sleepers to find their individual comfort preference and record it using the memory button.
“The auto-fill function—when filled to maximum air—also enables retail salespeople to assist shoppers in determining their ideal comfort settings by releasing air incrementally and selectively using the down-arrow buttons,” Boyd said.
The second of the new patents, No. US950166, also applies to air mattresses but involves a different hand controller with a sophisticated pressure-sensing system. The sensing system indicates the number of times a sleeper tossed and turned during the night, or—thanks to a data-storing microchip—during every night for the past several years.
“This smart technology can actually tell you your sleep history and how many times you tossed and turned at various pressure settings,” Boyd said. “It also can process data over an extended time period and give the sleeper a scientifically analyzed and recommended comfort setting—the Ideal Support Index—reflecting the head/foot and lumbar settings that have generated the fewest toss-turn incidences for that person over the short or long term.”
Pointing out that what feels comfortable to people isn’t necessarily what’s best for them, Boyd said the new technology eliminates the guesswork associated with finding the right sleep settings.
“Consumers can compare their initial preferred settings with the system’s recommended settings to refine their sleep data,” Boyd said. “And, whether a person has experienced weight gain, weight loss or weight redistribution, the system will always deliver the most empirical and reliable information.”
As with Boyd’s other patented hand controllers, the system offers auto-fill and memory buttons, plus a comfort index used by retailers in the selling process.
Another function includes an underbed LED light that turns itself on if a sleeper leaves the bed and then turns off when the sleeper returns to bed. The light also can be operated manually and left on for ambience.
With these two latest patents, Boyd now has a total of 35 U.S. patents.