Create Art While You Sleep

Each of us has our own way of sleeping. We prefer to sleep either on our left or right side, our back or our stomach. Some of us toss and turn during the night, some people lie perfectly still.

We don’t often get the chance to see how we sleep. Perhaps a complaint from a partner, tangled sheets or aching limbs can give us a clue as to how we spent the night. Now there’s an opportunity to have a glimpse behind the curtain and, in the process, create an unusual, and unique, work of art.

Create Art While You Sleep

Ibis Hotels, in collaboration with BTEC digital and ACNE, have produced an app for the iPhone which enables the user to transform their night’s sleep into artwork.

This unique and exciting app is the end result of the ibis Sleep Art Project which took place over three months of 2012. Selected ibis hotels in Berlin, Paris and London invited forty volunteer hotel guests who slept on mattresses wired up with eighty sensors which measured movement, heat and sound. These signals were converted into an algorithm which interpreted the sleep patterns into brush strokes and colour. A robotic arm, not unlike those used on a car assembly line, then traced patterns out onto a black canvas, creating the finished artwork. The results are beautiful and fascinating.

The iPhone app works on much the same principal but is far simpler to operate than a wired bed and a robot. The app uses the hyper sensitive accelerometer in the phone to detect breathing and movement whilst you sleep. This is converted into brush strokes of different colours and thicknesses to create the finished Sleep Art picture.

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Once the app has been downloaded, all the user has to do is to plug in the iPhone to charge and then to set the alarm clock. The device is placed on the bed and does its work. In the morning the sleeper is awakened by gentle music and the discovery of a new work of art.

As our sleep patterns change from night to night, so each Sleep Art picture will be different. The pictures are saved in a gallery and can be shared with friends by email or Facebook.

The Sleep Art app is free to download now from the Apple store and is suitable for the new generation of iPhones iOS 5 and 6.

How well did you sleep last night?

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