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CES 2014 Sleep Number by Select Comfort Press Conference: Sleep Well; Dream Big!

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While waiting for the Press Conference of Sleep Number by Select Comfort to begin Jan 7, 2014, I noticed everyone in the room was pleasant and informative about the products. They were at the same time protective of their President and CEO Shelly Ibach. This was a non-verbal communication that she is a great CEO. With M2M all the rage at CES this year, Shelly Ibach is the resounding Queen of this new tech. She got it right.

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I bumped into Matt Kershner VP Product General Manager of Sleep Number by Select comfort (Sleep Number 45). He explained that Sleep Number is a vertically integrated retailer and manufacturer of mattresses. Sleep Number has about 430 stores spread across the U.S. They manufacture their products in factories in Salt Lake City, UT and just outside of Columbia S.C. He went on to say that their remote control connects with their advanced dual air technologies, adjusting the firmness of the mattress on either side. At the touch of a button, the owner can adjust personal comfort. The Dual Temperature System came out this year which puts conditioned air into the mattress allowing each side to be either cool or warm on the top layer. Each member in the bed can either warm or cool their side of the bed.

Shelly Ibach was very down to earth and conjovial. I had stumbled upon this Press Conference looking for another. I had always been curious about Sleep Number and here I was in the perfect position to gather all sorts of information. It was not until her speech began that I realized who she was and the monitor displayed her title as Shelly Ibach President and CEO. It should be no shock anymore that in the year 2014 many companies have female CEOs such as GM's Mary Barra, IGT's Patti S. Hart, or IBM's Ginni Rometty.

When she began speaking, she carried herself very well with a great amount of technical information. She introduced the new x12 Bed with SleepIQ Technology. Shelly Ibach started off by saying that this is the only bed that tells you how you slept last night and how to sleep even better tonight. SleepIQ provides knowledge and comfort by comprehensibly tracking and monitoring each person’s sleep. This shows what comfort and support adjustments each person can make with his or her Sleep Number setting. It helps each sleeper decide what changes to make to their daily routine. As well it empowers the user to make those adjustments to achieve their best sleep.

Knowing better sleep with SleepIQ offers a proprietary, touch-free, non-intrusive and intuitive technology developed by Sleep Number in conjunction with its partner BAM Labs. This new SleepIQ system monitors presence in bed, average breathing rate, movement and average heart rate. This is a proprietary, full-body algorithm which assesses quality of sleep and provides a SleepIQ score for each sleep partner, every night. The SleepIQ score trends over time and tells each person what level of comfort and support their Sleep Number setting ensures their best sleep performance. There is a journal feature and SleepIQ data in which people can track and identify routines that affect their sleep such as execise, caffeine and TV to achieve their best sleep.

More about the Advanced DualAir Technology which includes adjustable air chambers and firmness control system allowing consumers to easily find their level of comfort and support on each side of the bed...their sleep number setting. The exclusive FlexFit technology enables people to raise or lower upper or lower body for ultimate comfort. FlexFit technology also goes beyond simple articulation and includes a Partner Snore feature which is voice activation to raise your partner's side of the bed by voice control when your partner is snoring. FlexFit also has several massage settings, under-bed lighting, and a timer can be set to return the user to a favorite massage r sleeping position, or turns off the lights on their night stand. The x12 bed has a FlexTop mattress design which allows each spleep partner to adjust their elevation to their preferred position while keeping a feeling of togetherness. With simple voice commands, and a universal remote the communication platform for the x12 is designed for future features and software upgrades. Starting Feb 2014 the x12 retails at $7,999.99.

Shelly Ibach went on to say that the company plans to make several new, exclusive technologies found in the x12 bed available across the entire Sleep Number bed line in the coming months ahead. Sleep Number employs more than 3,000 Sleep Professionals who are dedicated to helping customers find better sleep for life. Consumers can only find individualized benefits of Sleep Number beds and bedding at one of the 423 Sleep Number stores.

When the Q&A session about the x12 started one of the first questions related to Sleep Apnia and if Sleep Number was working with the medical community on this. Shelly Ibach made it clear that in no way shape or form was she getting involved with the medical community with medical devices. It was made clear that if her products help one get better sleep then all the better for the consumer. One reporter asked about NSA getting into everything technology driven "So, does Sleep Number track who else may be in and out of one's bed?" She made it clear that SleepIQ is not working with the NSA. It was a comical moment. I asked more about the cooling system. She said this is air driven with temperature settings the sleeper chooses and when asked how it feels she let out a resounding, "Wonderful." When asked about other uses for the apps, she says it can be programmed to many things things not yet explored and that the sky is the limit. She says "Sleep Well and Dream Big."

When on the showroom floor, I was given a full experience of what the Sleep Number bed was all about by John Giles U.S. Events Manager Sales and Training of Sleep Number by Select Comfort (Sleep Number 45). He went through the meaning of all of this data acrued to provide the best sleep possible. Gone are the days of hotels with the quarter fed vibrating beds. This is built in and feels wonderful. He went over all the apps which are available for iOS and Android SDKs. One delightful app is the Sleep Tight Game, Loona. There are many apps to help one get a better night's sleep. Many more are yet to be developed.

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