Here at Tech it is somewhat ironic that amidst all the game reviews and articles on whether Facebook is more annoying than Twitter or vice versa, we only occasionally manage to get our keyboard-strained fingers around some genuine gadgetry. While the tide may not exactly have turned, we do have a few ripples of quirky technology lapping at our feet this week. These are in the form of a pillow and an inflatable gaming chair courtesy of www.soundasleeppillow.co.uk.
Now I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t exactly call pillows revolutionary technology. They have been around for quite a while – since they replaced moss-covered rocks in (insert large number here) BC in fact. Obviously though the Sound Asleep Pillow is more than a soft clod of fabric to put your head on. The secret of the Sound Asleep Pillow is…wait for it, wait. for. it… it has a speaker inside. Brilliant!
The concept behind the Sound Asleep pillow is that it allows you to connect your MP3 player to it and listen to music in bed without annoying your partner/Pollock cupboard-mate while not having to endure the discomfort of wearing headphones, to which my immediate response was, “How exactly is a pillow with a speaker inside it going to be more comfortable than wearing headphones?”
Sound Asleep has not just chucked a sub-woofer in a sack though. In fact, it is impossible to tell the location of the speaker simply by squeezing the pillow, without compromising hugely on sound, although you obviously won’t get certain headphone effects such as panning. Furthermore, if you are a metalhead, chances are you’re still going to keep your other half awake, but if you consider the songs of System of a Down to be gentle lullabies then there is something seriously wrong with you.
I was a little less impressed with the inflatable gaming chair. The idea is that you sit down on the chair, plug your games console into it and sound from the game is emitted from two speakers at shoulder height. Admittedly it is pretty damn comfortable and sturdy enough so you do not feel too wary about it exploding under your backside. On the other hand, the in-built speakers produce very tinny sound. Additionally, the sound cable was only just long enough for me to connect it to a netbook on my lap, so unless you play games with your X360 on your knees it is not much use.
Whilst I find the chair difficult to recommend, if you’ve got some rowdy neighbours or just cannot sleep without some dulcet-toned teenager crooning in your ear, then the pillow is definitely worth a look.