Boom Headrest might actually let you sleep on long-haul flights
International travel. Remember that? Stepping out airport doors, past grimy masses of smokers into the alien smells and strange weather of some foreign shore. Learning the local grifts, eating the weird foods, drinking all of the beers, and either broadening the mind or inexplicably spending your time complaining that there aren't enough cable channels here.
Of course, to get there you had to take a long-haul flight, and that sweaty ignominy was somehow even less pleasant than sharing a hostel room with a cable complainer. Humans forced to stay in one place and kill time for 20-hour stretches will want to sleep, but airlines would go out of business if they gave everyone on an economy flight the ability to get horizontal and do so properly.
So you sit there, head lolling around onto the shoulders of your unimpressed seat-mates or banging against the window with every jolt of turbulence as engine vibrations shake your brain into mush. Or you pack a neck pillow, the good ones of which take up altogether too much space when you're trying to pack light.
Italian company ABC International wishes to give airlines the opportunity to offer people a tiny bit of solace, in the form of a bendy handlebar of a headrest it calls the Boom. Unlike those useless fold-out flap things, the Boom would actually support your head and neck once bent into the right shape, giving you something you could conceivably actually find a little relaxation on.
ABC specializes in airline cabin fitout, including EASA certification for new interior components, so they're definitely in a position to make this happen. The Boom can be fitted to any airline seat during production, or retro-fitted to existing seats with a range of foam density, thickness and covering options.
Made in aluminum alloy, with polyamide inserts, they promise light weight and long life. They can slide up and down to accommodate a range of heights, and ABC stands ready to manufacture disposable hygienic covers.
Reality check: the airline industry is in all kinds of trouble right now, and lord knows these companies aren't known for splashing out cash to make cattle-class customers more comfortable, so we're not holding our breath. Perhaps we'll first start to see these things pop up in a special class of seat that costs extra. But I'm encouraged by the fact that even brand new in the promo shots, they look like something I'd be dubious about touching. That really sells them as a realistic airline fitting to me.
Here's hoping the idea catches on. Check out a short video below.
Source: ABC International