August 4 2020  |  Seating

ABC International's onboard orthopedics

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX Tech's July Cabin Hygiene, Seating & IFEC 2020 edition.

ABC International's Boom Headrest is equipped with a multifunctional mechanism called a gooseneck. Passenger can adjust the head and neck options by applying light pressure on the arms of the gooseneck to bring it to the desired position

Anyone passing through an airport would not have to look far and wide before seeing a passenger preparing for a long flight clutching a thick, donut-shaped orthopedic pillow that they will drape around their neck in hopes of capturing a little more comfort.

The pillows allow the passenger to relax with neck support, carrying the weight of the head while cushioning and embracing the nape and neck. The concept has led Italian company ABC International to develop a headrest with a similar concept that can be installed on any type of aircraft seat in a variety of paddings, shapes and covers.

ABC International was preparing to introduce the Boom Headrest at last spring’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Designed by Aysegul Durak, a former cabin interiors chief engineer at Turkish Airlines, the Boom Headrest is equipped with a multifunctional mechanism called a gooseneck. Passengers can adjust the head and neck options by applying light pressure on the arms of the gooseneck to bring it to the desired position.

Durak tells PAX Tech that optimal comfort is achieved when a headrest can carry the weight of a passenger’s head. It must also embrace the nape of the neck tightly and provide various neck support position selections throughout the flight.

The Boom Headrest bears the weight of the head while providing neck support

“The multifunctional bending mechanism inside the circular structure of the Boom Headrest is the only headrest that is designed to meet all these conditions that provide headrest customization,” says Durak.

The headrest is designed to increase passenger comfort and enhance the inflight experience in every seating position possible. It can be adjusted to any position that the passenger wants, eliminating the need for airlines to supply orthopedic pillows or for passengers to bring their own onboard. It reduces stiff neck, neck pain and allows passengers to rest better onboard.

Retrofit of an aircraft can be done in approximately three days, says Alberto D’Ambrosio, Chief Executive Officer of ABC International. The product can be installed in Business Class or Economy Class seating. Durak adds that the Boom Headrest is a lightweight solution, and even seats that do not currently have headrests can stay within weight limits with an installation. The headrest is made with aluminum alloys with steel and polyamide inserts.

“We can change the dimensions, foam stiffness and also fabric/leather according to the demand,” says Durak. “We can adjust those according to the seat dimensions and model. One of the best parts of co-operating with Italian companies is they make the product in a very aesthetical way besides its quality.”

ABC International plans to offer the Boom Headrest to both seat manufacturers and airlines as either line-fit or retrofit. The company is embarking on an extensive marketing program.

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