Among the great digital and tech innovations launched during this 2018 Hajj, are these very captivating capsules. They offer a great Japan-inspired solution to those who cannot afford to book an hotel and give to Hajj a very modernized face.
Exhausting pilgrims should be happy to find these nap pods, which seem to be taken straight from a sci-fi movie. In truth, they have been imported from Japan, where very popular hotel chains launched these new stylish capsule a few years ago, to offer trendy and hipsters travellers a new luxurious approach of compact living.
These three-meter long and one-meter high fiberglass pods have been offered by Saudi Charity and Mutamer Gift Charitable Association to provide pilgrims with a cosy, quiet and clean space to have some rest. Although pilgrims’ naps can not last too long, three hours at the longest, the pods are sterilized between users and include a mattress, sheets, a mirror, and most important, air conditioning.
Willing to implement a “smart Hajj”
One of the main logistical challenge that Hajj represents for Saudi authorities stands the need to provide accommodation for almost 2.3 million pilgrims. Launching only 24 such capsules in the city of Mina is just a trial aiming to offer extremely well-suited places for every budget. And extend share economy to such ideas can be a real solution.
This innovation is part of many other ones including various apps to facilitate pilgrims rituals, from travel plans to medical care, without missing on-the-spot translations. For instance, since 2016, pilgrims receive a GPS-connected bracelet, including personal and medical information in order to help authorities to identify people and to provide relevant care if needed. Thus, Saudi Arabia is willing to ever improve its services and to make pilgrims more comfortable during Hajj.