Your Best Friend In Bed: The Instant Message Receiver Pillow

The bed, an important part of existence, is the place to finally surrender consciousness. Trusted, sacred ground, the location where we let our hair down (for those follicle-ly blessed), while exposing the vulnerabilities of the soul as the physical body lays bare in its protected inner sanctum. Life in the horizontal position, at sleep, in thought of possibilities of just about anything imaginable, even an opportunity to formulate some type of celestial conception, perhaps a mathematical construct for an emerging star system that won’t be formed for another ten thousand years. Whatever the case, we spend more than one third of our lives in bed, often doing things that can’t be done while in a vertical position.

chatter_web1.jpgOne only has to go to the seventh floor of New York’s fabled department store Bloomingdale’s to see the variety of sheets, a minimum 360 stitches, Egyptian cotton, devoted to embellishing your special spot, and all sorts of pillows to lay your weary head or between the legs (at the knee’s) while laying in the fetal position, a recommendation by chiropractors to promote better posture and reduce lower back pain by aligning the spine in a user friendly position.

Now a new twist has been developed for your bed, yet another toy, The Instant Message Receiver Pillow, developed by a student Rebecca Stern of the Parsons School Of Design in New York. “A mid term project, this pillow allows her to receive instant messages while lying comfortably on her bed without the burden of a laptop” or a text message from the still overpriced Apple iPhone with a finger “touch” tone screen. In fact, one of the lights in the built-in three icons will turn blue when a message is sent.

According to Ms Stern, “It’s also called The Chatter Pillow, a MAKE/CRAFT project reported in Weird Gizmo’s that uses the Plushie Message Framework (chat-parsing script to Arduino to wireless module) to send selected instant messages from your computer to the pillow.” She adds, “often times I leave my message client open just to get that ‘emotional check-in’ or other brief snippet from my sweetheart. With the Chatter Pillow, I just alter a few parameters in the script to filter all but three messages from him: ‘xo’, ‘on my way’, and ‘talk to me.’ That way I can be laying on the couch or ready for bed and still ‘get the message’.” I wonder what the “xo” is meant to convey?

An interesting mid term project and an easy way to be touched by one’s love. No Plans for mass production or price have been announced. It is unclear whether Bloomingdale’s plans on selling this product. What grade would you give her for this “stroke” of design genius? Perhaps as interesting as the door “handle” created in the form of a human hand by Naomi Thellier de Poncheville described in my gadget review How To Handle Your Thinga.

My percepto rating is simply “OH” in honor of Bloomingdale’s,


PSD – Parsons School Of Design
LSD – Linen School Of Design
HAN – “Handle”, designed by Naomi Thellier de Poncheville
YYU – Yo Yo University, China
CCNY – The City College Of New York
OH– Bloomingdale’s Department Store (Lexington Ave between 58th and 59th), Midtown East