A portable head-support pillow, created by a physician, to make traveling a more comfortable experience.

Created by
Ravi Shamaiengar, MD

1,203 backers pledged $67,819 to help bring this project to life.

  • Williamsburg, VA
  • Product Design
$67,819 pledged of $40,000 goal
Why did I start this project?

Have you ever fallen asleep upright, perhaps while traveling, and awakened with neck discomfort? Me too!

Like many, I would use a U-shaped neck pillow. Unfortunately, the support I needed just wasn't there. In addition, they are often too bulky to fit in my backpack. And if you are like me, you feel claustrophobic when things are wrapped around your neck. And who wants to inflate a device every time you need to use it?

During a flight about four years ago, I awoke with neck discomfort again and started drawing out the idea that would eventually become the NapAnywhere.

What is the purpose of this product?

The purpose of the NapAnywhere is to make sleeping in an upright position actually comfortable.

The NapAnywhere is not a simple neck pillow. It is a sophisticated head-support pillow that is part engineering, part architecture, and part origami. Using my knowledge of anatomy and experience gained while developing multiple designs, I have finally created a unique minimalist solution. The NapAnywhere provides better head support for the seated user, but is still compact enough to carry anywhere.

What is it and how does it work?

The NapAnywhere was designed with travelers in mind. It is supportive and comfortable, yet lightweight and portable, and can provide a custom fit for each user.

The NapAnywhere is a thin disc consisting of a strong yet flexible endoskeleton covered with foam padding, and wrapped in high-quality fabric. The device is reversible with one side warm to the touch (think fleece or suede) and the other side cool to the touch (think nylon or leather). The NapAnywhere also includes a comfortable strap designed to keep it in place while you sleep and a carrying case to help keep it clean.

The NapAnywhere is not a medical device. It was not designed to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disorder or disease. There are plenty of medical devices out there that should be prescribed by your physician.

With a few easy folds you can transform the NapAnywhere from a simple flat disc into an effective head-support pillow.

The top part of the device forms a cantilevered shelf which extends along your jaw from your chin to the back of your head. Once in place, you can easily form the supportive surface to comfortably cradle your head. Similarly, you curve the bottom part over your shoulder. The central portion, which lies against your neck, allows the weight of your head to be distributed across the shoulder. When worn the NapAnywhere allows the muscles in the neck to relax as the head is fully supported. You'll forget you're even wearing it.

And when you're finished with the NapAnywhere, you can easily flatten it into its original shape.

Recipient of the 2012 "Innovator of the Year" Award
Award received at the first public appearance of the NapAnywhere. Maybe I'm not the only one who believes in my invention. Hopefully you will too!
So where are we?

Proof of concept prototypes produced by the inventor. Check.

Design and utility patent applications submitted. Check.

Trademark applications submitted. Available domain names secured. Check.

Product engineering firm hired to optimize product design and create engineering packets for manufacturing. Check.

Prototype engineering firm hired to produce pre-manufacturing prototypes. Check.

Current iteration of product designed and prototyped. Check.

Product engineering packets sent out to manufacturers. Check.

Manufacturers selected and manufactured prototypes received. Check.

Logo and advertising material designed. Check.

Kickstarter campaign initiated. Check.

Our latest manufacturing prototype!
Side view of the formed NapAnywhere, warm side out. The NapAnywhere is reversible and only weighs about 8 oz, but will support the weight of your head.
Top view of the cool side. The NapAnywhere has been flattened for storage. The fabrics are antimicrobial and wipe clean. An attractive carrying pouch is included.
Front view of the formed NapAnywhere. Cool side in. The fabric tunnels which will hold the bracing strap have an embroidered logo.
Risks and challenges

One skill that has served me well has been my ability to motivate, communicate and collaborate with others effectively. I could never bring this product to market alone. For this project, I have assembled a strong team of engineers, graphic designers, advertising/marketing experts and manufacturers who have brought the project to this point.

We believe that this product will have a positive impact on many people! We hope you agree! And now it's your turn.

The response from the Kickstarter community will help us gauge the public's interest, fund the initial manufacturing runs, and bring the NapAnywhere to market.

Our biggest challenge in the short term is to finalize our choice of manufacturing materials. The quality and function of our manufactured prototypes are currently being evaluated. Also, the manufacturing process may slightly alter some of the design elements and/or materials that have been chosen for the most recent prototypes. The final prototypes will undergo testing for durability and safety prior to our first full manufacturing run.

Other unforeseen challenges may also be revealed. As a physician and business owner I've experienced my share over the years. But I know that we have a great team to overcome these challenges successfully.