The alarm clock is the key to the best sleep and waking.
But what happens when it goes off?
That’s where the electric blanket comes in.
Electric blankets, which are typically made of cotton, are made of a flexible plastic that can be stretched over a person’s head to reduce motion, and have sensors attached to the fabric that detect motion.
As the person sleeps, the sensors send a signal to the blankets’ internal batteries, which store the battery’s energy.
If the batteries die, the blankets will wake the person up.
But electric blankets can also be made to automatically turn on or off when they go off, depending on whether the person is standing or lying down.
For example, the blanket could wake someone up if they fall asleep on the couch or if the person gets too hot.
“If the blanket is lying down, the batteries will charge,” says Dr Amit Kumar, a researcher at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
“The blanket wakes you up, so the blankets are more reliable.
If it’s standing, the battery will die.”
Dr Kumar and his colleagues have created a prototype that works by triggering a switch inside the blanket to wake up the wearer, even if he or she is lying on a couch.
The blanket is made of an elastic material that has an adhesive coating on it to provide some kind of grip.
When a blanket is turned on, it stretches a thin elastic band around the head and body of the person.
This allows the blanket’s sensors to detect the wearer’s movements.
Once the sensors detect movement, the elastic band snaps back and sends a signal back to the batteries.
The batteries are then charged and the blankets can automatically turn off.
The researchers believe their technology will be a big step forward in combating the rising number of cases of asthma.
Dr Kumar says the technology has been around for about a decade, but the research community has been slowly building on the idea.
“The first thing that came to my mind was whether the blanket has a built-in safety mechanism.
That’s something that would be easier to implement,” he says.
Dr Singh, who has been working on the same concept for several years, says he first started exploring this idea in 2010.
The technology has since been refined over the years and Dr Singh says it is now “very well-tested” in different kinds of environments.
The team says the blankets were created with a team of engineers working on a variety of projects, including designing sensors to catch people’s eyes when they are lying down or when they’re standing up.
“We also created an external battery that was attached to a special flexible plastic fabric to ensure the blanket stays up in the air for a long time,” Dr Singh explains.
While it is very much a work in progress, Dr Singh hopes to have the blanket ready for commercial deployment in India by the end of the year.
“It’s going to be the first prototype of this blanket that is going to get sold in India,” he concludes.
“I hope this will be one of the first blanket that comes to the market,” he adds.
Dr K.V. Sharma is a senior fellow at the Indian Council for Research on Globalization and a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Panel on Asthma.
He says the team is using their invention to combat the rising prevalence of asthma in India.
“In India, the prevalence of allergic rhinitis is increasing rapidly and asthma has become a major public health issue,” he tells Al Jazeera.
“These blankets have been used in schools and hospitals to monitor the sleep of children in order to protect them from allergies and other triggers of asthma.”
Dr Sharma says this is a crucial area for India to improve its public health and is also a promising field for other countries to explore.