Everline Future 50

Most of our 50 upstart businesses are challenging old industries. This one's creating a new sector: digital presence.

Pillow Talk is a product that connects long-distance lovers. In a world of international travel and hotel lifestyles, each person has a panel that slots into their pillowcase and a ring sensor that they wear to sleep at night. The ring sensor wirelessly communicates with the other person’s pillow; when one person goes to bed, their lover’s pillow begins to glow softly to indicate their presence. Placing your head on the pillow allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your loved one. The result is an intimate interaction between two lovers, regardless of the distance between them.

The founder, Joanna Montgomery, says: “Pillow Talk  is a digital solution that creates the illusion and feeling of presence, allowing lovers to co-exist and to interact with each other in a fluid, non-invasive way. This phenomenon has not been explored before on the commercial market and will have a huge impact on how people communicate using technology.”

Connecting people physically via a virtual technology is going to the way the future works. Little Riot’s Pillow Talk is just the thin end of a very, very large wedge.

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Companies embarking on joint ventures (JVs) have high hopes and expectations, focusing on the anticipated benefits such as access to new markets and distribution networks, increased capacity and ultimately growth. But some JVs learn the hard way that whilst risks and costs are often shared, potential failure should not be played down – Sainsbury’s is a recent example.