Select Comfort debuts $8,000 bed that monitors heart, stops snoring

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2014 - 10:07 PM

Select Comfort introduced an $8,000 bed that tracks heart rate and controls snoring. The bed took two awards at CES in Las Vegas.

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Pete Bils, left, Select Comfort’s vice president of sleep innovation and research, demonstrated the new anti-snore feature of the new Sleep Number x12, a $7,999 luxury bed that took center stage Tuesday at the electronics show.

Photo: DAVID PAUL MORRIS • Bloomberg News,

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In this restless age of advanced technology, Plymouth-based Select Comfort Corp. has rolled out a smart bed that puts both body and mind at ease.

On Tuesday, the company debuted its Sleep Number x12 Bed, which lets users effortlessly track breathing and heart rates, sleep patterns, movement — even control snoring — all as they dream.

“If your spouse is snoring, you can just hit your Sleep Number universal remote,” explained Chief Product Officer Annie Bloomquist. “When you hit the button, it will raise your partner’s head 6 degrees to temporarily relieve mild snoring. It’s really neat.”

The $7,999 superluxury bed took center stage Tuesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where thousands of exhibitors are unveiling roughly 20,000 new products this week. Select Comfort has a particularly large space at the conference this year, and it expects hundreds of participants to test the latest in high-technology bedding.

The new software-laden bed doesn’t require users to touch or wear monitoring apparatus. They just lie on the bed, and the technology automatically captures breathing and heartbeat data and sends it to a computer, tablet or cellphone.

The product not only tracks sleeping patterns, it also provides massages, under-bed lighting and a timer that can be set to return the user to a favorite massage setting or sleeping position. It even can turn out the light on a nightstand and lets customers journal daily caffeine consumption, exercise, TV hours and other routines that might affect their sleep.

Select Comfort long has made adjustable-firmness air beds. But this venture into high-tech slumber created the “SleepIQ,” a proprietary data-collection system codeveloped with California medical-product maker BAM Labs. The two companies collaborated for two years to bring the gadget-laden bed to the consumer market.

Analysts wonder if the new bed will be enough to separate Select Comfort from the rest of the pack of highly competitive bedmakers. Investors want the bed to help company sales and earnings, which have been lackluster recently. Just this week, Select Comfort disappointed Wall Street when it announced that it would miss financial targets for a fifth consecutive quarter.

But company officials are optimistic that their efforts will pay off.

“We’ve given consumers the ability to better understand their sleep combined with increased comfort and adjustability,” Bloomquist said. The new bed “is the ultimate integrated sleep experience that takes the mystery out of sleep and empowers consumers with the information they need to improve their sleep and, therefore, their lives. It’s a breakthrough.”

The features are the latest bells and whistles to join Select Comfort’s already-advanced line of luxury beds, which range in price from $999 to $10,000.

Two people sharing the new x12 bed separately can program the firmness on their side of the mattress and independently raise or lower the bottom or top half of the bed for maximum leg and torso comfort. Changes can be made with the touch of a remote or by simple voice commands. Select Comfort also has product options that let users set, track and automatically maintain desired temperature settings on each side of the bed.

For its efforts, Select Comfort won two CES Innovation Awards on Tuesday in the categories of Home Appliances and Health & Fitness.

Stifel Financial research analyst John Baugh was impressed. “Our initial impression is that the company has clearly worked to innovate, which we applaud,” he wrote in a letter to investors Tuesday. “Many of these sleep-monitoring features fit in with recent trends for fitness trackers [such as] GPS watches, heart-rate monitors that have … been popular.”

Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Peter Keith said the price of the new bed is high but “there is still a market for this type of product. If each [of Select Comfort’s 432 retail stores] sells just one of this new bed, say every other month, that will raise their revenues by 2 percent a year.”

Still, Keith said the company could benefit by embedding its new SleepIQ technology into lower-priced beds. Bloomquist said that is the intent. “We are highly interested in making this technology available to all price points. We will make this technology accessible.”

 

  • related content

  • Select Comfort is one of thousands of exhibitors at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, above, which runs until Friday.

  • Select Comfort’s exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the company won two awards for its efforts.

  • Two people sharing the new x12 bed can independently raise or lower the bottom or top half of the bed.

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