The special among the outdoor beds
On April 13, 2022, the European SkyHeia patent application published. A utility model was announced by the German Patent and Trademark Office on February 24, 2022. So we invented a new bed. And of course we at SkyHeia are proud of this invention. ☺️
On this occasion, I would like to tell the story of our bed in detail in this and the following articles, why the SkyHeia has become so special as it is. I would like to show how many ideas are in this bed that we have developed together with clever and enthusiastic people and put into practice.
We like to call the SkyHeia the first real outdoor bed. Why? Because according to our conviction and experience, all previous 'outdoor beds' are not beds, but loungers. You can spend the night on a camp bed, for example, but it has nothing to do with the comfort of a bed with a mattress, as we know it from the bedroom at home.
When I look at our invention today, everything seems very simple to me. Sure, the bed is made of weatherproof aluminum. Logically, it can be dismantled and easily transported in two bags. Of course, insect and rain protection are attached to a dome made of tent poles. And logically, the bed has its price, because we manufacture it by hand in Germany and use the highest quality materials.
That's clear today. It was all completely unclear in 2017.
How do you become an inventor?
In this and the following articles I would like to explain in detail why the SkyHeia has become the way it is. What makes you special? What makes them different from other beds? Why does the outdoor bed look the way it looks? After all, in the end, the journey is the goal and other »inventors« could use a little inspiration for their ventures here and there.
But maybe I would also like to show a bit how much inventiveness and hard work went into the invention of a completely new outdoor bed. The SkyHeia could only become such an extraordinary and unique product with great effort. And I'm, and we're all at SkyHeia, a little bit proud of that. ☺️
The right stuff
Back in 2017, it was clear to us that we needed a bed that primarily had to be weatherproof so that it could be left outside. Carbon as a material? Way too expensive. Wood? A material that I, as the son of a forester, really like. My co-founder Marco, who grew up in a carpenter's shop and himself has built a few beds out of wood, is of course much closer to this material. However: Not weatherproof in the long term. So only a stainless metal remained. only which one? – stainless steel? Way too expensive and way too heavy.
Then aluminum! Meanwhile, a material that is no longer so cheap, but lighter and recyclable to 100%. A bed made out of recycled soda cans – that would be a dream! So we started looking for a suitable supplier. However, we had to realize that it is currently not technically possible to produce an aluminum bed from beverage cans. (At least not yet, but it could be soon.)
An aluminum with a good CO2 footprint?
During our research, we ended up with the company, among others hydro, one of the world's leading aluminum producers, a good third of which is owned by the Norwegian state. The special thing about Hydro: They produce aluminum with a CO2 footprint that is only a quarter of the global average for aluminum production. The highlight: Hydro relies on the aluminum Reduxa hydropower as an energy source. For us it was the perfect transitional solution on the way to the outdoor bed made of cans. So the question of materials was settled.
Individually pressed profiles
Of course, there were no aluminum profiles to buy that fit our bed exactly. But for a company like Hydro, part of the day-to-day work is building special tools through which gooey aluminum is forced to harden into the exact shape we needed. A total of 9 different hollow profiles were created for our bed, the dimensions (height, width, wall thickness) of which were precisely calculated beforehand and of course also had to meet our visual requirements - for example with regard to the ratio of height to width and curves.
A unique construction
Easy to build. Just dismantle.
It is well known that sleeping in your own bed is best. For the first time ever, we wanted to make this convenience available to SkyHeia owners on the go. That's why our outdoor bed had to be transportable. The idea of being able to take a bed with you in the car and quickly set it up anywhere on vacation was one of our main motivations. But that got complicated.
Our claim: The bed should be able to be assembled and dismantled in 2 minutes and without tools, no small parts should be needed that could easily be lost on the go and it needed to be as small as possible to pack so that the outdoor bed fits into everyone boot would fit and at the same time we can ship the bed as a standard package and not by a forwarding agent.
Plug and close
The construction, which was intended to enable assembly and disassembly without any tools, seemed natural and obvious at first: put the individual parts together and lock them in place with toggle fasteners. And we were surprised that nobody had come up with this idea before us, and that we had invented something really new. There are 6 plug-in clamping connections on the SkyHeia today, one on each of the 4 corners of the bed and one in the middle of each of the 2 side rails. And precisely these middle connections were the biggest challenge.
How could we split the two meter long side rails and reconnect them stably with the same simple mechanism? After all, the bed has to withstand the greatest load in the middle. Finding a constructive solution to this problem took us a lot of time of thinking, testing, discarding and starting over. But we stuck with it and solving the problem makes us a little bit proud.
Next time I will tell you more about this special connection and the importance of sustainability in the SkyHeia concept. If you would like to be informed about the release of the article, then you are welcome to wear it for our newsletter.