Starter for 6: Little Riot

Feature | 09 Jan 2012
  • Little Riot

Little Riot is an interaction design company initially set up by Duncan of Jordanstone graduate Joanna Montgomery to develop Pillow Talk, which is due to hit the market next year. Pillow Talk aims to connect long distance lovers – each person has a ring sensor they wear to bed at night, and a flat fabric panel which slots inside their pillowcase. The ring wirelessly communicates with the other person’s pillow; when one person goes to bed, their lover’s pillow begins to glow softly to indicate their presence. Placing your head on the pillow allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your loved one.

Due to the worldwide exposure Pillow Talk has already received, the company has become known for its emotional impact and now also undertake consultancy work for other companies developing products and services, helping them deliver engaging user experiences and interactions.

"The company was officially formed in September 2010. Pillow Talk began life as my degree project and quickly went viral on the internet. I started receiving hundreds of emails from people asking where they could buy it. What really struck me was that people were telling me it would change their lives and improve their relationships. That was the moment I decided to start the company; I was in a position to create something amazing – and not only would it be my perfect job, I had the opportunity to have a small positive impact on people’s lives.

"Little Riot's main focus is creating new ways for people to interact – particularly when these people are in different places. In the ever-growing complexity of today's digital world, human desires are beginning to exceed technology. We value user-experience and we recognise that things can be better. 

"I was part of the Starter for 6 this year; I needed guidance, advice and someone to help steer me down the correct path – and they could offer me that. The experience of the programme was invaluable. The things I learned helped shape my business model into something much more structured than anything I'd had at the beginning. Being around other people in the same boat, facing the same challenges and working towards the same goals is also worth more than people realise. 

"Securing the funding meant I was able to develop my rough prototype into a finished, manufacturable product. It accelerated me to the final hurdle – I will soon be able to begin ordering stock. The programme also gave me confidence in myself and my idea, and the fact I've been through the process has strengthened my credibility – very useful when I'm speaking to potential investors or contacts. 

"Pillow Talk is due to launch in early 2012. My hope is that it will establish Little Riot as a reputable interaction design company and the international leader for 'digital intimacy' products. I have ideas for many more products, so the plan is to continue getting bigger and better and take the world by storm."


Starter for 6 is an enterprise training programme that supports up and coming entrepreneurs from the creative industries across Scotland Applications for the next round of Starter for 6 are open until midnight on Tuesday 31 January 2012