Simba designs aeroplane seats to accommodate Gareth Bale between international matches

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Simba designs aeroplane seats to accommodate Gareth Bale between international matches

A conversation with footballer Gareth Bale sparked the idea for Simba's new Air Hybrid aeroplane cabins, which are designed to create the "ultimate sleep environment" for those with a demanding travel schedule.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

Simba, a mattress company, engineered the bed-like cabins in order to provide those travelling on red-eye flights with uninterrupted sleep.

According to the company, it was conversations with Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale that provided a catalyst for the design.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

"When we first met Gareth, he raised a challenge we hadn't thought of – what happens when you need a good night's sleep but you can't get to your bed at home?" said Simba co-founder James Cox.

"The Air-Hybrid is our solution – a design that is every bit as comfortable as the mattresses that our customers enjoy at home."

Over a six-month period, the company looked to engineer a bed that would identify and respond to the body's movements.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

The mattress itself is made up of 2,500 conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam layers that each provide support and heat regulation.

Automatic adjustments recline the seat to a "zero-gravity" position, which is said to simulate weightlessness and ease pressure on the back and spine while improving circulation.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

The bed would be surrounded by what Simba describes as a "sleep eco-system". This includes mood lighting, scent diffusers and sensors that monitor noise, temperature, light, humidity and air particles.

"Excessive airline travel often makes maintaining consistent sleep patterns challenging, exacerbated for athletes like Gareth who are constantly on the go," said Cox.

"Research by Stanford University has shown that increased sleep can directly affect on-field performance. For a player like Gareth, who competes in numerous domestic, European and International fixtures, the loss of sleep could result in fatigue, which in turn can increase levels of the hormone cortisol.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

"This hormone heightens the risk of strains and tears and can impair an athlete's sense of limb positioning and perception of strength, which can cause injuries such as ankle sprains."

While Cox and Bale believe the seat can improve his overall performance on the pitch, the company has also been in talks with commercial and private airlines and is planning to roll out the Air Hybrids internationally.

Aeroplane seat by Simba

"The feedback to the prototype has been so positive that we’ve begun conversations with commercial and private airlines," said Cox. "We've also started to look at how our technology can be adapted for other modes of transport, including trains."

A number of companies are competing to create a more comfortable journey for passengers, with some inviting designers to create "homelike" cabins.

At the same time, others are working to maximise capacity with the likes of two-storey seating.

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Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba
Aeroplane seat by Simba