ReST’s Lloyd Sommers Interview
NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION -- ReST (Responsive Surface Technologies), a SleepTech member of the National Sleep Foundation, aims to perfect the sleep experience to help people sleep better, live healthier, and be more productive. Check out NSF’s interview with the company’s General Manager Lloyd Sommers to learn more about the ReST Bed™, Lloyd’s take on the SleepTech industry, and what’s next for the innovative brand.
NSF: Tell us a bit about your company.
Lloyd: ReST’s vision is to help create the perfect sleep environment. That environment has many factors, but the mattress is central. Sleep is not a static state, but rather a series of dynamic states. What we’ve done with the ReST Bed™ has two parts. First, we’ve divided the mattress into five individual zones that can each be customized to exactly the firmness or softness that the user wants. It’s total control and total customization. Second, our ground-breaking sensing technology allows the mattress to automatically respond to whatever position the sleeper is in to make the firmness or softness what it should be. When the sleeper moves, the bed responds. Learn more about our product at www.restperformance.com.
NSF: How has the SleepTech industry/community changed since you became involved?
Lloyd: Well, for example, there was no SleepTech “section” at CES in 2015 when we first went to demonstrate our smart bed. Now, it has became a section unto itself, with many many companies all contributing in their own way to use technology to improve people’s sleep. Just having a group of companies there with that as their core mission is a big deal. The development of industry standards is also something that has continued to grow and suggests that the sleep technology sector is here to stay. It’s not about the product. It’s about the innovative application; improving how people sleep.
NSF: How did you get involved with NSF’s SleepTech program?
Lloyd: We don’t think of ourselves as a mattress company, but rather a sleep technology company. Our idea was to take the pressure sensing technology that has existed in the medical space for many years to prevent bedsores across a wide spectrum of patients and re-purpose that technology to improve all consumers’ sleep. So, we packaged the tech differently into a smart mattress, created new software and started selling the ReST Bed™ about three years ago. At the time, NSF was recognizing technology’s increasing role in sleep. When NSF created the SleepTech group, it felt like the right fit for us. We’ve now found our kindred spirits operating in the industry.
NSF: How does participating in NSF’s SleepTech program advance your business knowledge, your exposure, etc.?
Lloyd: There are all different types of companies that are members of the SleepTech group. If we weren’t part of the program, we would lose the benefit of outside-the-box thinking and the ability to network with other companies exploring different things than we are in the broad sleep space. Our membership gives us opportunities to learn and think about consumers differently, and to approach potential partnerships. Of course, NSF is the central point for industry info, especially for keeping up on policy and regulation. Membership gives us a front row seat to what is going on. In terms of getting our message out, we’ve had the opportunity to participate in NSF panels at events like the SleepTech Summit, which gave us exposure to industry experts and potential investors. As a company that is very much still in our growth and brand building stage, those opportunities are priceless.
NSF: How are you spreading the word about the work you are doing?
Lloyd: That communication requires a lot of different avenues. One of the most exciting ways we have of spreading our message is through our genuine, passionate, and organically driven brand ambassadors. We have athletes who are so passionate about the bed that they really want to be part of our team and spread word of mouth about how great it is. Another exciting collaboration we are working on is with the IRONMAN organization. They are open to custom partnership opportunities with us that they have never done with other companies, so we are very excited for that to launch this summer.
NSF: What is the next big thing for your company?
Lloyd: We will continue to improve the ReST Bed with software and firmware updates, etc, as well as continue to explore the possibilities surrounding connectivity and IoT. Additionally, while we mainly sell in the US and a bit in Canada right now, we are working on expanding internationally soon.