Erin Berg – Furniture Today – 03/01/17
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Boyd Specialty Sleep announced it has been awarded two U.S. patents covering hand controllers, displays and software for use with air mattresses.
The first patent (US9501065) covers a hand controller for an air mattress which uses a series of colors and numbers to provide detailed feedback to a sleeper about his/her comfort settings and preferences.
The patent applies to remote controls for either two-chamber or six-chamber air beds. 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 which 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 each sleeper to find their 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 setting(s) by releasing air incrementally and selectively using the down-arrow buttons,” said company president Denny Boyd.
Boyd’s second patent (US9501066) also applies to air mattresses but involves a different hand controller with a pressure-sensing system that indicates the number of times a sleeper tossed and turned during the night. It also has a micro-chip that can store data over a longer period of time as far as several years, according to Boyd.
“Consumers can compare their initial preferred settings with the system’s recommended settings to refine their sleep data,” Boyd explained. “And, whether a person has experienced weight gain, weight loss or weight re-distribution, 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.
With these latest patents, Boyd holds a total of 35 U.S. patents for its sleep products.