Turn on, tune in, drop out

Words: Alexis Ong; Illustration: Andrew Delogo

Could a smart headband for napping be the new office productivity tool?


Relaxing isn’t as straightforward as it was in the days before smartphones and social media. Our constantly connected lives have caused us to develop Pavlovian responses to push notifications and audiovisual prompts, at the cost of sleep and sanity. Naturally, wellness startups have rushed to address this problem.

In 2017, Hong Kong’s Silentmode launched after a highly successful Kickstarter for its flagship product. Using a “nappiness” algorithm, the Powermask analyses its user’s habits and goals to provide a tailormade snooze. It helps encourage optimal sleep, but also claims to improve the user’s resting heart rate. The mask’s main features include a memory foam lining, special sockets that allow your eyeballs to move during REM sleep and a companion app to help you nap, relax or even improve focus via soundscapes.

At the Startup Impact Summit 2019, CEO Bradley Young explained the product’s goal: “We’re on a mission to help people reduce stress and anxiety around the world.” The company is even working with companies to use Powermasks to improve productivity in the workplace – perhaps making office naps the new norm?

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