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This article was published on November 10, 2015

Pillow Talk connects distant lovers as they drift to sleep

Pillow Talk connects distant lovers as they drift to sleep Image by: Paul Cockcroft
Martin Bryant
Story by

Martin Bryant


Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Sharing your heartbeat with your loved one(s) via the Apple Watch has largely been discarded as a gimmick by many. Pillow Talk is a new product that takes the same idea and may be a lot more compelling to those separated from their significant other.

You and your S.O. go to your separate beds with Pillow Talk wristbands on and a small accompanying pad placed under your pillows. Then as you drift off to sleep, you can hear and feel the other person’s heartbeat through your pillow, and they receive yours.

It’s either a fun gimmick or a beautiful expression of intimacy, depending on how you choose to see it. Either way, Pillow Talk is launching on Kickstarter today, and the company behind it, Little Riot, is looking to raise $150,000 to bring the device to market.

I’ll be honest, I’d thought Pillow Talk must already be on the market, as UK-based Little Riot founder Joanna Montgomery has been talking about the product for five years. I’ve seen her at conferences, speaking about the idea several times. So what took so long?

“When I started developing the idea, hardware startups weren’t cool,” Montgomery says. “The ‘wearables’ wave hadn’t struck yet and the technology still wasn’t really good enough for me to execute it. For example, Bluetooth Smart didn’t exist commercially. There was a distinct lack of guidance, help and advice for people building any sort of hardware or consumer electronics, so I had to learn everything the hard and expensive way.

“I’ve worked with eight different engineering firms in four different countries and been screwed over countless times by people who couldn’t deliver but wanted to ride my press wave. Oh, and then there was the small matter of my investors trying to close my company on Christmas Eve 2013.”

joanna montgomery
Credit: Little Riot
Joanna Montgomery

Montgomery still doesn’t know the reason for this pull-out, but Wayra stepped in, backed Little Riot and let its legal team resolve the issue.

So, it’s been a rough ride to get where she is now, but Montgomery says that being open and public about the process has been very helpful.

“In the first year I won £70,000 ($106,000) of grant and competition funding just by pitching it everywhere; I wouldn’t even have a company if I’d been protective or secretive about my idea. And because it’s been all over the internet, quite often I go places and people have already seen it/read about it and they go ‘ohhhh, you’re the pillow girl!’ which is cool.

“I mean, the downside is that all my failures and setbacks have always been very public, but being open and honest is something I truly believe in – as both a person and a company – so I’m happy to share it all with everyone if it can help make anyone else’s journey a little bit easier.”

Now, finally, Pillow Talk is ready for mass production, and I for one think it’s a beautiful, heartwarming concept. It’s live on Kickstarter now, and the minimum price to get your hands on a device is £52, with delivery expected in May 2016.

➤ Pillow Talk

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