Abu Dhabi International Airport has installed dozens of bizarre-looking "sleeping pods" that allow passengers to nap in privacy.
The Finnish-designed "GoSleep" chairs, a world-first unveiled on Sunday, feature a sliding door/roof designed to either partially or fully enclose passengers within the pod, shielding them from surrounding noise, light and crowds.
Ten pods now reside in Terminal 3, and 10 more in the Al Dhabi Lounge at Terminal 1, while a further 35 are to be fitted later this year. Once all are installed, the pods will be upgraded to provide internet access, storage space for luggage and other valuables, as well as a power source for laptops, mobiles and other electronic devices.
The pods are currently available at a cost of 45 Dirham ($A12) per hour, payable using a credit card.
They may look unusual, but are a step up from the Ostrich Pillow, which was launched last year. The portable device is placed over your head to “enable power naps anytime, anywhere”.
Design firm Kawamura-Ganjavian claims the device, which includes a mouth hole to allow easier breathing, is ideal for airport lounges, trains and aeroplanes.
Hotels offering compact, short-term accommodation have been popular in Japan for years. The Capsule Inn Osaka was one of the world's first capsule hotels when it launched in 1979.
Capsule hotels have also reached British shores. The Yotel chain - the brainchild of the founder of the YO! Sushi - now has branches at two London airports - Gatwick and Heathrow. Its single and double cabins offer free wifi and are equipped with flat screen TVs, multiple power outlets, and showers. A Yotel can also be found at Amsterdam Schiphol and in New York City, two blocks from Times Square.
Earlier this year, Moscow installed its first city centre capsule hotel, the Sleepbox Hotel Tverskaya, which features 50 windowless pods that can each accommodate up to three people. Each has internet access, and is soundproof and air conditioned.
Portable 'modular bedrooms' were also introduced by the Barcelona-based firm Dream and Fly, at Barcelona's international airport. The compact 'Bubbles' are able to accommodate both individuals and families, and each comes with a bathroom.
The Telegraph, London