APEX Insight: Space-age style nap pods are coming to a major European airport later this year. Will AirPod manage to lure weary travelers away from airport lounges?
Nap pods could soon be a common sight at airports across Europe. AirPod’s fully enclosed, soundproof capsule-style sleeping units will be deployed on a trial basis at a major European airport later this year. But the company says the pods will offer travelers more than just a few hours of decent rest between flights.
The space-age-style units were designed by Robert Klun, a Slovenian architect and CEO of Magnet Design Consortium. Each AirPod will include a seat that can covert into a bed and will have space for one person. They’ll also offer access to Netflix, a work station, charging outlets, an alarm clock, air conditioning, airline status updates and even feature integrated scent machines to eliminate unpleasant odors. In a blog post the company said customers will be able to reserve an AirPod unit at a cost of $18 (or around €15) per hour.
“There aren’t any serious companies on the market that are providing our solution,” – Grega Mrgole, AirPod
Grega Mrgole, CEO of AirPod, told APEX Media that the idea was inspired by personal experience. “It was not my idea, but it was actually an idea of my business partner. He’s a constant traveler. Two hundred days of the year, he was away traveling. He said there really weren’t any solutions in the market for a place to relax while transiting through airport terminals,” he said. “There aren’t any serious companies on the market that are providing our solution. There are only lounge clubs and some other companies offering sleeping capsules.”
“The best ancillary products are the ones which improve the user experience,” – Iztok Franko, advisor to AirPod
Iztok Franko, who serves as an advisor to AirPod and is the founder of Diggintravel.com, said he sees potential in AirPod because he thinks it will appeal to airlines with connecting flights who can use the product to improve the on-the-ground travel experience and boost revenues. “The best ancillary products are the ones which improve the user experience,” he said. “Similar to how in-flight entertainment allows airlines to have digital touch points during a flight, AirPod would similarly allow them to have digital touch points in airports.”
AirPod is aiming to raise $20-million of funds through an Initial Coin Offering by issuing 200-million tokens at a cost of $0.10 each. The company already managed to raise $2.7 million within a two-day period, enabling it to begin production of the units on June 19.