September 01, 2011 04:00 ET

The Future of Sleep: Interactive Dreaming, Virtual Love-Making and Health Monitoring

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2011) - The technologically advanced dreamworld of the Hollywood blockbuster 'Inception' will become an everyday reality in less than twenty years, according to a new report.

Award-winning futurologist Ian Pearson spent six months investigating the impact of new technology on sleep and how the hotel room of the future will respond to helping us sleep better in 2030.

According to the 'Travelodge Future of Sleep' study, interactive dreaming, virtual love-making, sleep studying and health monitoring will transform the way we sleep during the next two decades. The hotel room will use cutting-edge technology to monitor customers' energy levels, physical well-being and mood, fulfilling each guest's needs like a personal concierge, lifestyle coach, fitness trainer, psychologist and doctor to ensure a good night's sleep.

Futurologist Ian Pearson explains: 'On average we spend a third of our lives asleep and this will still be the case in 2030. Technology will not change our basic need to slumber but it will certainly enhance the experience, enabling sleep to have much greater value than merely rest and recuperation.'

The Sleep Revolution

So exactly how will how our bedtime be revolutionised in the future?

  • Dream Management Systems will allow us to replay our favourite dream from a menu, just like choosing a movie, and will also allow us to link into dreams of our friends and family to enjoy a shared experience. The dream management system will also act as a coach, offering the opportunity to study or even learn a new language whilst asleep.
  • Intelligent sleepwear and linen will feature electronically controllable properties to produce smells or gently massage sleepers to play a key role in helping our dreams feel real, linking with imagery and sounds to create a fully tactile dreamscape. By 2030, sleepwear will also feature electro-responsive fabrics to measure stress and relaxation rates, pulse, blood pressure and quality of heart signals.
  • Active contact lenses will allow sleepers in the future to watch TV or movies, or check emails as they fall asleep. The lenses will be worn under eyelids and will deliver high quality 3D images directly onto the retina.
  • Virtual love-making will be possible in less than two decades, allowing couples to link their peripheral nervous systems via active skin electronics, which will allow both individuals to experience each other's feelings and emotions. Active contact lenses will also allow individuals to adjust how their partner looks on a regular basis.
  • Sleep-cycle alarms will monitor the electrical activity in the brain and identify the best time for the sleeper to wake up, ensuring their sleep cycle is complete.

The Future of Hotel Rooms

These technological advancements will completely change the face of the hotel room. The hotel experience will be personalised to each customer's individual needs and tastes via virtually invisible technology, which will monitor and anticipate physical, emotional and mental needs and desires for a great night's sleep.

  • Augmented reality will enable the entire surface of the hotel walls and furniture to be used as any kind of display, e.g. a painting, computer screen, TV or a fantasy location. Lonely guests will be able to upload virtual family images or upload an image of their home bedroom, making them feel completely at home. 3D video conferencing will also allow guests to feel as though they are effectively at home or in the office.
  • Atmospheric temperature air conditioning will allow guests to alter their room climate to simulate the ambience of a seaside, forest or feeling of being surrounded by mountains.
  • Outdoor sounds from flat panel audio built into the window will create the sound of the ocean, or a forest, to accompany their fantasy room view.
  • Interactive soft surfaces such as fabrics will interact in tactile ways to produce scents, change colours and pick up signals from the skin. Guests will be able to instantly change the colour, pattern and texture of their room furnishings.
  • Guests will be able to explore local attractions remotely, from theatre productions to just wandering through the town, regardless of time or weather, from the comfort of their hotel room.
  • Virtual shopping will transform the walls of a hotel room into the interior of a shop.
  • Guests will be able to enter the world of computer games and play actual characters, linking up with other guests to play virtual reality games between rooms.
  • Electronic mirrors will offer 360 degree views from every room and allow women to preview different make-up looks and hair styles before application.
  • In-room augmented reality fitness interface will allow guests to enjoy a work-out session with a virtual personal trainer.
  • Dietary advice will be provided through a sleep monitoring service, which will deliver a medical report each morning.

The hotel room will become so technologically advanced that it will almost become alive, ready for respond to each guest's individual needs for the ultimate stay. Lonely business travellers will be able to turn their hotel room into their bedroom at home and holidaymakers will be able to create the ultimate fantasy environment with their favourite sights, sounds and smells.

Whilst the future of sleep looks bright, you can still get a great night's sleep right now for less in one of Travelodge's extensive network of budget hotels.

Editor's Notes

About Ian Pearson, author of the 'Travelodge Future of Sleep' study (available at

Futurologist Ian Pearson is a Maths and Physics graduate and has worked in numerous branches of engineering, from aeronautics to cybernetics, sustainable transport to electronic cosmetics. His inventions include text messaging and the active contact lens. He was BT's full-time futurologist from 1991 to 2007 and now writes, lectures and consults globally on all aspects of the technology-driven future. He is a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, the World Academy of Art and Science, the Royal Society of Arts, the Institute of Nanotechnology and the World Innovation Foundation. In 2007 he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree by the University of Westminster. He was recently awarded an Award for Excellence by the US Army.

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