Futuristic looking pods may begin to appear at airport terminals throughout Europe later this year, as two Slovenian businessmen trial their new product. Airpods aim to provide weary passengers a private place to lie down and escape the hustle and bustle of the airport.
From the outside, the pods look like they may be actual escape pods from some sort of spaceship, and the inside isn’t much different. But thankfully, these little capsules have a much easier job than helping people safely re-enter the atmosphere: to provide people with a quiet place to rest while they await their flight.
Available to rent by the hour, the main feature of these pods is a chair that can fold out into a bed. Not the most groundbreaking invention, but when combined with the soundproof qualities of the pod, it will no doubt be a welcome sight for many a weary traveler. Since they won’t be able to hear anything outside the pod, passengers looking to catch a few winks can set alarms and enter their flight details to receive alerts when it’s time to check in or updates of any changes.
Each Airpod will also contain a touchscreen TV with free Netflix, various sockets so users can charge their devices, a separate Wi-Fi connection, and room to store their luggage. Meanwhile, air purifiers will work around the clock to ensure that these small, confined spaces stay fresh for each new visitor.
According to the product’s website, Airpod is “more than just a sleeping pod providing deserved rest, it also offers comfort and entertainment to the tired traveler looking to relax and unwind for a few hours. Travelers can rent the Airpod by the hour to sleep in private, rest, work or relax or surf the internet whilst having their personal belongings safely stored within the Airpod”.
Airpods are similar to, but arguably a step up from, existing products on the market. For example, New York’s LaGuardia airport has Jabbrbox, which are like large private phone booths with plug sockets and internet access. However, these have large glass doors, no space to lie down, and cost $10 for 15 minutes, effectively making them extortionately expensive internet cafés.