About this project
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A Thanks To Our Backers
Where do we begin? Well, perhaps we begin with the most important topic, thank you. The energy and enthusiasm of the Kickstarter community has literally left us astounded, dumbfounded, baffled, nonplussed, astonished, but most of all, grateful for the incredible willingness of a community to put forth their contributions toward supporting the entrepreneur. We thank you and could not have made it here without you.
With the end of this project we are already beginning to look forward toward development opportunities that will continue to improve and qualify our product as the best in the market, and we will never forget, that it all began right here, thanks to your help.
Keep living the dream backers and we’ll continue helping you with the sleep you need to live those dreams!
-The Hibermate Team
The Hibermate sleep mask is a super-comfortable, luxury eye mask with removable ear muffs especially designed to be slept with. The ear muff is made from very soft, medical grade silicone with sound-reducing memory foam inserts.
Single band sleep masks can slip either up or down at the back or come off when you’re sleeping, so we designed an innovative, dual-strap sleep mask which helps the mask comfortably stay in place all night long and ensure full adjustability.
The product is really comfortable for side sleepers, back sleepers, front sleepers and if you’re travelling or resting (i.e. sitting upright).
If noise isn’t an issue for you, take the ear cups off and wear the high quality sleep mask all by itself.
There are also plans to create a headband (non-sleep mask) version in the next few months, but you can use the current version as a headband without any problem.
- The Hibermate totally blocks out light; there is no light seepage from under the nose or from the sides.
- The Hibermate significantly blocks out noise, the medical-grade silicone ear cups are super-effective in blocking unwanted noise, and they're 99% more comfortable than ear plugs. They have been officially rated safe for use in environments up to 90dB. They're also fully adjustable and removable if noise isn't an issue, making the Hibermate the most versatile sleep mask available. The cups are 100% recyclable and have been designed to last a lifetime. The foam inserts are replaceable.
- The sleep mask has recessed areas for the eyes so you can open them if you need to, but it also means there’s no pressure when you’re sleeping. Importantly, this helps when you enter your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of your sleep cycle so you sleep uninterrupted, resulting in a more refreshing, natural sleep. You’ll wake up feeling fantastic.
- The silky outer satin cover slips easily against the pillow so the Hibermate sleep mask will always stay in place.
- The innovative top and bottom front adjustable straps let you adjust the tightness of your new Hibermate to your exact preference and help you adjust the mask perfectly to your head shape so it’ll totally keep its position when you wake up.
- The high quality, jersey-cotton inner is comfortable against the skin, warm & cozy in winter, cool and breathable in summer.
- It's slim, compact, lightweight and fully machine washable - wash, dry and wear; again and again and again.
You can wear the Hibermate with your ear buds, which can help with 3 things:
- You can listen to music to further help block external, unwanted noise,
- You can set your smart phone alarm to help wake you up,
- Your ear buds will stay in place all night long.
Watch our new video to see a demonstration of how to put the Hibermate on and how it works perfectly with ear buds (includes out-take at the end...!)
Q. What about side sleeping?
One perceived objection is, ‘Hey…those ear cups don’t look comfortable to sleep on if you’re a side sleeper’.
Luckily, we thought about this from the very beginning.
First of all, we have made the ear cups really soft and squishy so they gently mould to your body.
Then we designed the ear cups with rails, to slide along the straps, so if you’re a side sleeper and you experience any discomfort at all, you can move the cup you’re sleeping on out of the way (to the back) and let the pillow take care of reducing noise on that side. Slide it back into place if you roll back over… Simple.
Another perceived objection, is, ‘Hey…those strap adjusting toggles at the front don’t look comfortable to sleep with either…’
We’ve tested this aspect (a lot) and we 100% guarantee that you won’t notice the toggles when you’re sleeping – and for production, we’ve added extra padding to that part of the mask, just to be 100% sure!
The benefit is being able to easily adjust the mask from the front, which is awesome, rather than trying to fiddle and adjust a strap at the back (like most masks)… Seriously, this mask fits everyone, from your kid to the elephant man.
Q. Why not just use ear plugs?
No bones about it, ear plugs are awesome for blocking sound. They’re probably the single most effective sound blocking device ever invented for the human ear.
The biggest problem with ear plugs is prolonged use, and hygiene. People who use ear plugs for extended periods of time often experience soreness or worse, inner ear infections.
The reason for this is due to the fact you often need to use your fingers to squeeze and roll ear plugs down to a size where they insert easily before they expand and create the all-important sound-blocking seal.
It’s the process of squeezing and rolling the plugs, when germs and bacteria can be introduced onto the ear plugs prior to insertion that typically causes quite painful infections for many ear plug wearers.
Ear Plugs can also cause the build-up of ear wax which can plug the ear canal as they tend to prevent the natural flow of wax outwards.
Q. What about white noise machines?
Hey, white noise machines are great too, but they’re impossible to take with you when you’re on an airplane... Well, not impossible. You can take one, but you’ll also need to take a portable generator to plug it into.
Q. What about noise cancelling head phones?
Those things are great too, but who wants to sleep with a pair of hard head phones? Noise Cancelling Headphones are really good at blocking consistent, droning noises especially when you’re on an aircraft. But they can’t process incoming sounds quickly enough to cancel out sudden loud noises like doors banging, people walking with stilettos on floorboards in the upstairs apartment or loud snoring.
Q. What about double glazing?
Double glazing is exceptional at reducing outside noises; expensive but really great. One small problem - double glazing won’t help you if you live in an apartment block with party-loving neighbours or if you’re lying next to a heavy, noisy sleeper who snores. If anything, double glazing can make things more amplified if unwanted sounds are coming from inside.
Q. What’s the sound blocking ability, the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of the cups?
We sent the new cups to the National Acoustic Laboratory – an Australian semi-Government Authority - for a preliminary sound reduction test. NAL work right next door to Cochlear Limited (the original inventors and manufacturers of Cochlear Implants).
NAL’s test takes a high sensitivity microphone and places it at one end of a tube. Just outside the other end of the tube, they place a speaker.
They play and record sound to take a ‘normal’ reading.
For our test, they placed the Hibermate sleep mask ear muff over the end of the tube and played the exact same sounds again through the speaker.
Ultimately we will have the Hibermate NRR rated for the US market, but at this stage, the NAL’s Hibermate’s sound reduction test has rated it an Australian SLC Class 1 Sound Reduction Device which means it is safe to use in environments up to 90dB.
You can learn more about the Rating here: http://www.hearforever.org/tools-to-learn/sound-source-understanding-ratings
You can print logos on the cups, for the branded version we retail, we’ll include the Hibermate logo. But if you represent a company who would like to brand your new Hibermates with your own logo to give to your employees or suppliers (or whomever), we can print your logo onto the cups in up to 4 PMS colors. We took delivery of 16 of the first actual cups from the tool and they were delivered a few days ago (see further down below; "History and next steps" for an actual photo of the new, branded cup)...
The flexibility of the Hibermate’s ear muffs allow for you to create ingenious ways to attach the muffs to your head.
Obviously we use the straps, but if you’re a product designer, why not come up with your own way to attach the ear cups?
The top and bottom rails would make great attachment points for an ‘over the head’ or ‘round the back’ bands… The ear muffs don’t necessarily need to be used for sleeping or resting.
They could be used for rock concerts, working in noisy environments or at the office to reduce the amount of sound coming from noisy co-workers etc.
Please keep in mind that the product shown is a prototype. The appearance/design of the final product is subject to change.
The ear cups will not change for production, however, the mask will change slightly. It’ll be slightly bigger and the straps will be more robust (slightly thicker/wider) than the one’s shown here.
The ear cups on the Hibermate are a product of creative design that is currently patent pending.
- This project began a few years back when we received feedback from some of our customers that the current design didn’t block enough sound for them. We looked for inspiration online by searching Google to see if anyone else had solved the problem. It turned out that no-one ever has, so we decided to!
- The first step was to make sure if we invented an ear muff for sleeping, no-one else held a patent which we could be infringing on. In 2011/12 we engaged ActuateIP, an Intellectual Property Law firm to conduct a world-wide patent search. They found several patents which were vaguely similar, but certainly not covering what we wanted to invent. That gave us the green light to proceed.
- Our friend, Abigail Forsyth invented the KeepCup, the world’s first re-usable and barista-friendly coffee cup to help the environment. She entrusted one of Australia’s leading product development companies, Cobalt Niche to design and bring her invention to life. After speaking with Abi, we provided a brief to Cobalt Niche who began to research, sketch and CAD model the designs before creating prototypes. Cobalt Niche are ‘big’ on branding and wanted to ensure the outside of the cups were visible for branding/messaging etc. After 3 rounds of prototyping, we finally held in our hands the most beautiful and effective result we could have wished for!
- The next step was to head back to ActuateIP to develop and file a provisional patent (global) for the ear cups (filed in December 2012).
- Around this time, we also engaged GaskaTape, who are foam experts to source and die-cut really soft sound reducing memory foam to fit the cups and create an effective and comfortable sound seal. The foam is really effective at reducing noise under slight compression.
- Baron Rubber was engaged to manufacture the new cups from medical grade silicone. We chose silicone over plastic for 2 reasons. After consulting with an industrial Chemist we discovered that silicone is bacterially resistant and is also fully recyclable, something that’s very important to us. They’ve created the tool used to manufacture the ear cups and the very first printed batch of 16 branded silicone cups (in jet black) were delivered just after the video was shot.
- The next phase was engaging our expert seamstresses, Arwin, Julia and Sharna from the Sample Room. Again we went through a rigorous prototyping and testing phase until we came up with a working prototype. We are still refining the mask to be slightly larger and the bands more stretchy, durable and wide (a little bit like satin bra-strap elastic).
- Our agent here in Australia helping us with the manufacturing of the masks (www.bluegum.com.au) is a member of Ethical Clothing Australia and internationally has offshore partners who are accredited with Fair Labor Association and WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production).
We’ve been inspired by the amazing and talented people we’ve been working with over the last 18 months and we hope you share the vision, see the benefits and will help bring the project to life. Please share or pledge to make the Hibermate a reality…
Chris, Lib and I have a proven track record of bringing great ideas to commercial reality. We’ve overcome all the major hurdles over the last 18 months to get to the point where we’re ready to go.
We’ve spent over $45,000 on product design, patent searches, a provisional patent, seamstress and mask development (interestingly, and unexpectedly, was one of the more difficult design aspects to solve) and tooling for the cups (now completed and paid for).
We now need your help.
This is a great product with experienced, energetic and committed people behind it. We are incredibly confident that you will receive a top quality product which does what we say it will do.
The entire supply chain has been evaluated carefully to ensure quality and consistency. We’ve only engaged the people and companies we consider to be the best at what they do for this project. It’s been expensive, but worth it.
Commercially, we aim to have the product for sale and Fulfilled by Amazon before Christmas 2013. We’ll also be advertising in Airline magazines, as well as online. Our ultimate vision is to distribute to Chemists, Airports, Airlines and Hospital gift shops all over the world.
We’re looking to validate all this hard work and commitment with your pledge, so please, look to your right and find the right reward that suits you…
The Hibermate is very good at blocking sound, but it will not block 100% of noise. There are no ear muffs or ear plugs on the market which block 100% of sound and the Hibermate is no different.
We don’t want to talk the Hibermate down; it’s BY FAR the best sound blocking product designed for sleeping and relaxing on the market, bar none; but it is not an industrial ear muff designed for airports and other insanely noisy environments.
Ultimately we will have the Hibermate NRR rated for the US market, but at this stage, the Hibermate’s preliminary sound reduction test has rated it an Australian SLC Class 1 Sound Reduction Device which means it can be used in environments up to 90dB.
Night Moon designed by Jardson Araújo from The Noun Project
Medicine designed by MaJo Ox from The Noun Project
Neighborhood by Fission Strategy from The Noun Project
Travel designed by Lemon Liu from The Noun Project
Risks and challenges
We’re totally confident that this project will be completed. We’ve covered everything from ensuring there are no IP infringements to stop the project in its tracks, to sourcing all suppliers who are now on standby and waiting for us to place an order.
The only risks we foresee are the ones beyond our control, namely around the supply chain and ensuring our suppliers meet their promised lead times, manufacturing and quality commitments.
At this stage we’re looking to have almost every aspect of the product manufactured in Australia (where we’re currently based) so that we have more control of the manufacturing through to assembly process during production. This is also better for the environment as products aren’t shipped vast distances to us from overseas before being shipped again to you (wherever you live).
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