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Year in crowdfunding 2016: The internet's favorite projects from Chicago

Excerpted from the Chicago Tribune


The Zeeq smart pillow allows for streaming of music through built-in Bluetooth speakers, analyzes sleep, monitors and reacts to snoring, and wakes users.

Those features appealed to Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers, who pledged more than $452,000 to the project combined, which had a $50,000 goal. Prices for the pillow started at $149.

It's a product of the Rem-Fit division of Wheeling-based Protect-a-Bed.

Shipment is beginning, with between one-fourth and one-third of the backers having the product in hand, said Miguel Marrero, director of technology development.

Expanding to other consumers is next, he said.

The pillow was conceived by Warrick Bell, whose family owns Protect-a-Bed.

The division has lots of patents in bedding technology, and will be displaying other iterations of the Zeeq and announcing new bedroom products at CES, Marrero said.

"As people are experiencing it, it's been great," he said. "People were really just backing an idea. To have that kind of support — it's been an amazing experience."

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