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February 5, 2017, 5:37 am

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The cutting edge of sleep technology

What OS does your bed run? I've been using iSleep for close to ten years, but it's just old hat now, compared to the new stuff. Dreamchaser just makes it look juvenile, and Z3 is simply sublime.

The SmartBed

The SmartBed is a fairly common, but relatively expensive piece of home furnishing. The mattress is thermoregulated aerogel wrapped in synthetic materials. The thing that makes the bed special is that it is connected to the CogNet, and has a lite version of the SimSense suite employed by Inemuri Salons. This is tied to the user's MUSE device and by default, their gesund auf. The bed's technology can track the level and quality of sleep being experienced by the user. The bed can adjust it's temperature and firmness for the physical health of the user, and it can stimulate and encourage sleep patterns. Utilizing the same basic technology as the immersive SimSense salon, the bed can monitor REM sleep patterns, and it can send small nudges to the sleeper's brain to guide it along to an optimal sleep pattern.

Smart sleep is the best sleep you will ever have.

What it is Not

The SmartBed is NOT a vessel to the Dreamlands, nor is it something that people can be trapped in (ala the trope if we break the connection, the person dies). It is not a SimSense unit as it cannot run dream programs, and does not actually do anything to the contents of a person's dreams. The technology of the Cosmic Era has a theme of corruption and unintended consequence. The SmartBed is not a corruptive tool, and it doesn't contaminate it's users, it has a more insidious affect. The regular access to SmartBeds inside of arcologies and other megastructures a part of the architecture that continues to feed arcopolarity, the division between those who live in the megastructures and those who don't. It also ties into the field of anthropotronics, with the beds working much like the Happiness Radiators. People who shake out of the arcos or are exiled often suffer from sleep deprivation issues as they lose their SmartBeds and have to work out how to sleep without them.

Consider that, not being able to sleep without machine assistance. Small wonder that exiles gravitate towards drug and alcohol abuse, and gadgets like emote cubes can command such a high price on the black markets.


SmartSleep is the outcome of the SmartBed, and it is used as a correction for the disrupted sleep patterns of denizens of the megastructures. These artificial environments keep their own hours and have their own paces that have little consideration for the activities of the pituitary gland and circadian rhythms. For a long time, residents of the arcologies and the space habitats used drugs to help regulate their sleep, or relied on screenery to fool their bodies into accepting the new sleep cycles the structures dictated.

Some call it digital addiction, technophilia, and worse, but it's best known face is Seijaku, or tranquility. There are certainly individuals who abuse SmartBeds, in the same way that a pillow can be misused. How do you misuse a pillow? Ever seen a drama where someone is smothered with a pillow, that's misuse. Seijaku is the mental and physical tranquility that comes from SmartBeds and SmartSleep. You can see the difference between someone who is getting that good seijaku sleep and someone who isn't. Restlessness, constant fatigue, an energy beverage clutched in one hand. Someone who is seijaku enjoys their coffee for it's rich taste, not it's caffeine content. They are well groomed because they aren't trying to wring every desperate moment of unconsciousness out of their night cycle, with seijaku you can get up an hour early to have your personal assistant do your hair and make up, enjoy a hot breakfast, and even catch up on the morning news.

The introduction of SmartBeds improved the sleep of users to the point that the technology was subsidized so that the devices were affordable enough for mass production. The technology propagated quickly. The beds all but sold themselves. Most of the modern industry is based around support for existing units (as the Cosmic Era has shied away from Planned Obsolescence, a SmartBed can be repaired, and has a functional lifespan measured in decades) and for software updates.

Mood lighting, ambient noise generators, scent simulation, that's the new hotness. Seaside is hot, light blue and green mood lights, wave noise, and a salt air diffuser. Like sleeping on a beach. Sonora is also hot, higher temp, dry pine scent. Fabulous stuff.

Jailbreaking and Hacking

Like any smart device, the SmartBed is vulnerable to being jailbroken or hacked. The OS has a variety of safeguards in it to prevent unhealthy use of the bed. The most common reasons for jailbreaking a smartbed is for someone to extend the maximum sleep duration, or to set it to minimum sleep cycle. Hacked SmartBeds can be used for stealing identities, via the link between the bed and the user's MUSE and gesund auf. A fairly common hack on SmartBeds actually sets the bed to disrupt sleep patterns, preventing good sleep, or preventing REM sleep, a fairly important phase in the cycle. Other prank hacks include radical temperature changes, or causing the bed to randomly change it's firmness settings.

Author's Note: Its a bed that makes you sleep good, inspired by the fact that I do have bouts of insomnia or don't sleep well.

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Comments ( 4 )
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Voted axlerowes
February 5, 2017, 7:28
This is a lovely piece of world building, I like the mix of straight talking discussion and in world voice. This post did a lot to paint the cosmic era as vivid, layered and living world inhabited by real people.
Do they have show rooms for these or trial agreements? A Viagra mod?
February 5, 2017, 7:41
i would imagine a SmartBed showroom to be something like a combination of a traditional mattress store and an Apple Store, all slick and cleanly put together with that spartan aesthetic going on. Like any durable good I would expect there to be trial periods, and the option to purchase a refurbished SmartBed, and trading in your old bed as part of the down payment for the new one. With the Freemium Economy model, I see a lot of transactions going more and more towards the smartphone model. When you get something new, you don't keep the old, they want that back. Refurb and resell to someone else who isn't buying the cutting edge model.

As for a viagra mod, i have no idea how that would work. I would say that erectile dysfunction has been eliminated as a disease in the CE, but it would still come around from boredom, excessive use, etc, and there would be plenty of augmentations and over the counter treatments for it.
Voted Cheka Man
February 5, 2017, 12:35
I'd be angry if someone hacked my bed.
Voted Aramax
February 6, 2017, 6:53
5/5 This rings VERY true to me. I am psychologically addicted to my sleep apnia device.
I am unable to sleep without a device most who use it find torturous. I put it on , lay in bed and listen to TV instead of actually watching. This will be real.



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

The Candle-Eyed Man

       By: Murometz

The third son of a candle-maker, and secretly a spy, Tsiao Fong Wei betrayed his family, clan, and town to the merciless Qongg Dynasty, causing the deaths of his own family members. He survived to an old age hiding out in the country side and keeping a low profile. One day however, the “Paper Knife” finally found Tsiao Fong Wei , and exacted his revenge on behalf of the folk, dead and tortured.

After a furious struggle, the “Paper Knife” plunged twin burning candles into the eyes of the traitorous old man and laughed, as Tsiao Fong Wei howled in dismay and pain. Some say Tsiao Fong Wei died that day. Others say that the old man somehow escaped despite his sudden anguish and utter blindness.

The truth is lost to time.

But to this day the children of the Red-Ridge County towns and villages are told by their parents to always beware twin lights in the darkness and to never venture into the woods at night, and to keep an ear open for the Groaning Ghost, for somewhere out there Tsiao Fong Wei the Traitor, now a vengeful spirit, stumbles about the darkness moaning and wailing, candles still sticking forth from out of his otherwise empty eye sockets. And though the candles plunged into his eyes all those years ago were a’flame going in, now the wax protuberances are somehow lit from within and burn without, and two flickering lights in the darkness, always portend his coming.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | December 6, 2013 | View | UpVote 4xp

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