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Creating Optimal Air for Sleep Space ——Idea behind the Design of Sheep Sleep

Special Feature Published in AXIS

Daikin performs R&D activities to provide optimal air for all spaces. As part of these activities, we have focused on spaces for sleep that many people are concerned about.

Research by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare shows one in five Japanese has trouble sleeping. We have long studied air conditioning for better sleep, but with the growing public awareness of sleep disorders as a social issue, we decided to fundamentally revisit what constitutes optimal air for sleep space.

When we think of the elements of an optimal sleep environment, we usually think of humidity, temperature, scents, and light. But when we think about restful sleep, we realized that one of the factors that induce sleep is rhythm, whether it be that of a heartbeat, a gentle breeze, or a rocking cradle. Car and train vibrations would also be considered rhythm. These types of swaying rhythm help us sleep comfortably at night.

When we consider how to provide sleep-inducing rhythm to sleepers, an idea came to mind: instead of mechanical vibrations, air-created fluctuations could provide a gentle rhythm to sleepers.

To this idea, we applied a technology to send a mass of air, which has been studied at Daikin’s Technology and Innovation Center. This is an application of speaker vibrations called air cannon technology. With this, soft and gentle rhythms with “air touch effects” can be delivered to sleepers and help them fall asleep and wake up comfortably.

Not only that, sensor and network connectivity enables us to provide air and rhythms that best suit individual users based on their sleep cycle, snoring habits, and other physical information.

This idea of creating comfortable fluctuations in sleep space through air conditioning control led us to the air bouncer. The concept of this innovative product is named “Sheep Sleep” as it rhythmically sends puffs of air just like counting sheep.

What is new about Sheep Sleep is not only its functionality but also its design.

While Sheep Sleep has an unconventional unique circular air vent, its universal, geometric shape harmonizes with all spaces. The circular shape served as a motif of the design. The product also adopts a new material combining glass and metal to showcase the quality of interiors and express a sense of purity and luxury.

Our fundamental review of the value of restful sleep has led to creating a new feature of air rhythm and made us rethink product styling and materials from the bottom up. As a result, I believe we were successful in creating a new product design befitting a product for comfortable sleeping.

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