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Sleep aid developed by Colorado Springs inventor another hit on Kickstarter

November 16, 2017 Updated: November 16, 2017 at 6:59 pm
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photo - SomniCloud prototype (Photo via Kickstarter)
SomniCloud prototype (Photo via Kickstarter) 

Michael Larson didn't rest on his success after his last sleep aid raised more than $900,000 last year in Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns.

The CEO of Colorado Springs-based product design and development firm Mind Rocket LLC raised more than half of its $25,000 goal for his latest sleep aid in the first day of a month-long Kickstarter campaign for SomniCloud, a new device that uses two small speakers that play alternating tones designed to lull the listener to sleep. Mind Rocket raised more than $14,000 on Thursday, the first day of its campaign in which those who pledge $79 or $89 receive the device at a discount from its $159 retail price. The campaign is scheduled to end Dec. 16.

Larson, who also is the El Pomar chair of engineering and innovation at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, had one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever with his Sleep Shepherd, a headband and app that use the same alternating tones to help users fall asleep. He developed Sleep Shepherd in 2012 as a drug-free way to combat his daughter's sleep disorder that landed her in the hospital in 2014. Larson said he developed SomniCloud for people who don't want to wear a device on their head, though it won't have the sleep monitoring capabilities of the Sleep Shepherd.

"We learned a lot of helping people sleep without drugs. The Sleep Shepherd is the most advanced consumer sleep tracker that measures brain waves to regulate the alternating tones that help you get to sleep," Larson said. "A lot of people aren't concerned about tracking their sleep, so we developed the SomniCloud for those who just want a sleep aid."

The SomniCloud also emits light of various shades - red to help users get to sleep and blue to wake them - and motion detector to measure the user's restlessness. The device can be linked to Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant, Echo home automation hub or the Nest thermostat. Mind Rocket is offering to sell up to 700 SomniCloud devices - which will be manufactured in Asia and shipped by early summer to those who make a pledge - at prices ranging from $70 to $159 during the campaign, which could raise nearly $100,000. For more information, click here.

The company also raised $22,000 in 2015 from an Indiegogo campaign for a massaging headband called Vi-band, which is now available through online retailer The Sharper Image.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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