I’m writing from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam’s fairly impressive hub that boasts a casino and, better yet, showers. I am exhausted. Like, cranky and absolutely beleaguered with sleep. When I took a shower this morning – 15 euro at the Mercure hotel – I noticed that the hotel offers rooms starting at 40 euro for as little as four hours. Desperate for a mattress, I decided during my shower that I would get a room, no matter what it took.
When I asked the receptionist, she curtly replied that all of the rooms were occupied and would not be vacant EVER. (OK, she didn’t say that, but there was no hope for me catching a few zz’s before my flight to Cairo.)
My new plan is to pay another 15 euro for a shower in a few hours and sleep on the floor. (It’s clean; there’s a little anteroom there outside the shower that will be uncomfortable, but private, reducing the possibility of me waking up with all of my belongings gone.)
With seven slow hours to think, I’ve come up with an invention that I’m certain already exists at Google or someplace progressive and quirky. (And this is a much better idea than my previous invention concepts, which include the chairlet (a hybrid chair/toilet that allows users to go to the bathroom while eating dinner or watching a movie) and skirt weights – which I still think would be a hot item, at least for a while, and especially with Catholic school girls (stylish magnets that adhere to the hem of your skirt and keep it from flying up in the wind).
Introducing: bed pods. I mean, I’d come up with a snazzier name than that, but for explanatory purposes, we’ll err with simplicity. Picture this: you’re weary, you can barely keep your eyes open, and you have hours before your next flight. There are no hotel rooms available. You walk through the airport and find yourself in a sectioned-off back area filled with pods.
Pods would only be available to people with a minimum of three hours before their next flight. (Three hours until boarding time, not scheduled departure.) The airports could monitor this in two ways: passengers could scan boarding passes at a machine in order to enter the pod area OR airports could hire attendants to manually check your pass.
Once inside, you find a pod that’s available and swipe your credit card, choosing the amount of hours you want. Inside would be a bed and a socket to charge appliances. You’d also have a built-in alarm and a shelf where you could place your luggage. When done, you exit and an attendant changes the sheets. Think of the job creation!
I bet it’d be cheap to finance, too. IKEA sells cheap mattresses and airports like Heathrow, which are privately owned businesses, could afford them. Or, even better, a hotel chain could sponsor the pods, like the Premier Inn. The pods would be purple (the Premier Inn color) and could feature Premier Inn mattresses inside so people who sleep there would say, “Ooh, how comfy. Definitely staying in a Premier Inn someday!”
Job creation and marketing? It’s a no-brainer.
It wouldn’t have to be tacky either. Instead of vacant/occupied switches once you enter the pod, images reflecting the moon cycle would indicate your sleep status to hopeful pod-users. You would have a waxing moon that reflected how much time you had left. A vacant pod would have a new moon, and once you put time on it – say, three hours – the moon would begin to wax (crescent, gibbous) and then, when your time is up, it would be full. I love it. I should go on Shark Tank. Does publishing this on my blog count as copyright?
If we got magnanimous investors, we could even add soundtracks to the pods so you could doze off to frogs croaking or crickets chirping.
Seriously, how is this not invented yet?
God I’m bored.
Author’s Note: This is not time accurate. When you read this, I will not be in the Amsterdam airport, even though I’m writing this from their lounge. I could’ve published it as I sat writing it, but I feared the Mercure would somehow see it and learn that I planned on sleeping in their shower this afternoon and deny my access. It’s important to think of these things.