It’s been a while since neck pillows became a big thing but you see a lot of them on flights these days. They save you a lot of soreness and discomfort when you’re stuck in the same position for hours on end – especially when the flight is turbulent, and you can’t get out of your seat. The makers of the Face Cradle decided it was time for a change and they might just be right.
The Face Cradle was invented by David Scrimshaw and Roz Ruwhiu. Roz is an experienced advertiser and spent many years as the Head of Production working with the most creative talent across the industry to pitch multiple famous brands. David’s expertise lies more in designing products and starting up companies. In addition to Face Cradle, he’s also the founder of Ozito, a power tool brand popular in Australia.
How it Works
It’s not surprising that Face Cradle was conceived on an airplane. Roz mentioned wanting something to hold her head and David watched everyone with U-shaped pillows around them sleeping awkwardly and squirming uncomfortably. He decided he could make an improvement – and so he set out to do just that. Their company name, Hairy Turtle PTY LTD comes from a combination of David’s fast and furious approach and Roz’s tried and true patience.
There are a significant number of how-to videos online to show the details of how the product works. It’s not that the product is difficult to use. Instead, the idea is the faster you can adjust the better able you are to stay comfortable and possibly even fall into deeper sleep. So, watch the videos and learn the ins and outs in detail. You’ll be rewarded with a better rest on the airplane, car ride, train, or wherever else you find you might like to use this nifty device.
The funding for the Face Cradle came from Kickstarter. The campaign raised $1,479,231 AUD from 19,611 backers to bring the product to life. That’s not a bad run when your original goal is $20,000 AUD. As of Oct 27th, an announcement posted that the company is planning to deliver Face Cradles to the project’s backers.
You can pre-order the product from the business’s website for $59 AUD. There are five different positions the pillow moves into which include some that allow the person in front of you to put their seat back and those beside you to receive food and drink service. The pillow covers are brushed velour; an ultra soft polyester typically used in high-quality neck pillows. It has a zipper so you can remove it and machine wash in the event it becomes dirty.
Face Cradle is made with high-quality materials and is quite sturdy. Only 20-25% of your body weight is placed on it. Even if you’re not comfortable in your seat, the Face Cradle will still support your head without difficulty. It’s extremely unlikely you’d manage to break it unless you were trying to do so.
The only barrier to using the product might be its mildly goofy appearance. It’s unlikely most people will notice it but if they do you might get a funny look or two. That said, once you sleep flawlessly through a long haul flight they’ll be more interested in where you picked it up than its appearance. The product weighs 0.72kg (1.61lbs) and won’t be part of your carry-on weight. The dimensions are 30cm x 30cm x 8cm. It’s not difficult to haul around. You own heavier and bulkier winter coats.
Taking everything into account full adoption is a possibility. Given time, it may even become more popular than the current neck pillows sold throughout today’s airport terminals. After all, frequent travelers tend to worry less about how they look and more about being alert when they arrive. You can change clothes, do your hair, and iron your clothes. No amount of caffeine or makeup will remedy a sleepless red eye or long haul flight. Yes, I said make-up. Even if you’re a man, a little concealer under the eyes won’t go amiss if you have bags so dark purple it looks like you took a hit to the face.
Even if you haven’t tried it yourself – the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Neck pillows looked weird when they first came out, and now we’re used to them. The colors are still odd but not to the point you’d gawk or cringe. The Face Cradle is, for the most part, an excellent series of neutral colors. No neon pink, blue, or purple already makes it stand out less than a lot of the u-shaped neck pillows out there.
Will air travelers buy into the face cradle? Yes, given enough time they’ll be just as abundant as the neck pillows and other random accouterments you typically see on long haul flights. You’ll find them behind the security gate priced at least three times their value. They’ll probably produce some more obnoxious colors for those of us who love to stand out. Most importantly, you’ll be able to sleep through the whole flight without laying your head on your neighbor in the seat beside you. Not that your neighbor minds, it’s alright and all, it just gets a little too warm.
If you’re feeling ambitious, have your company pay for one. After all, they’re the one sending you on multiple trips to all sorts of exotic places. Surely they won’t mind $59 AUD to get you there alert and ready to work. OK, maybe alert is an overstatement. We might call it capable of mental function, finding your hotel, and make that first business meeting on time without sleeping through the first 15 minutes. All told you’ll find this product pretty impressive. It won’t cost nearly as much as the value it provides in reducing time lost to jet lag. That is unless you buy it after you get through the security checkpoint. Then it may cost more than it’s worth. Just barely, though. They want you to be tempted to buy it after all.