The launch of a revolutionary new mattress product has highlighted the role technology is playing in disrupting a wide range of established industries.
While not many people would consider technology and mattresses in the same sentence, advancements in manufacturing and design have allowed Melbourne businessman Mark Ottley to change the way consumers buy and install a mattress.
“Buying a mattress and shopping for a mattress is quite difficult; it's not a very fun experience, especially for a product that's going to be used for 8 to 15 years of your life, it's actually quite a hard process to go through,” Mr Ottley told My Business.
“I came up with the idea years ago when there was some new technology coming around where mattresses could be compressed and put into a box, and I've been following that technology for quite a while now, and developed this product.”
Mr Ottley’s innovation, which is being sold under the new business Sleep Republic, is a mattress that can be easily rolled up without losing its shape.
By doing so, it has opened up the mattress retail industry to online competition: the mattress can be easily and quickly delivered to a customer’s home, at a fraction of the usual delivery cost given that in its packaging, the compressed and vacuum sealed mattress measures just 32cm by 35cm in width and length, and heights varying according to the mattress size.
“In the last five years, this compressing technology has really come leaps and bounds, and it's got to do with the materials they use – the resilience of these materials are excellent,” Mr Ottley said.
“You've got higher density foams, higher gauge wire spring systems and it's really engineering the mattress to be made that way. So you can't get a conventional mattress to do that, you've got to have special materials, special springs, that can be made and done.
“A normal mattress has between 630 to 800 springs inside it; our mattress has 1,850 springs inside a Queen, which is a huge amount of springs. So that basically gives the mattress longer longevity, and it gives optimal support and pressure relief to all parts of the body.”
Sleep Republic was launched with co-founders Sean and Tom Littlebury in December 2015.