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Capsule Beds: Are These Micro-Pods The Future Of Hotels? (PHOTOS)

Capsule Hotels

Posted: 01/09/12 12:54 PM ET

We know, we know, we've told you before that capsule hotels are the wave of the future.

But after a few false starts in the industry -- including the nixing of the Xitai Capsule Hotel in Shanghai over fire hazards -- designer Eric Wong has created the next wave of capsule beds in his Hong Kong showroom (see photos below).

Wong's beds seem slightly more upscale than any iteration we've seen so far -- besides, perhaps, the commercial space station hotel pods. Each of Wong's capsules comes equipped with an air conditioner and TV and audio facilities not to mention an image of Earth, the Associated Press reports.

These capsules are aimed at Hong Kong-based university students and mainland Chinese tourists; the capsules start at $30 per night or $450 per month.

The hotels will mostly be positioned in areas where tourists look for hotels, such as the Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok area, Wong told Wong's vision is to expand from Hong Kong to mainland China's high-speed rail stations and bring capsule beds to Southeast Asia.

The idea of putting capsule beds in rail stations or even airports isn't new: An airport in Moscow commissioned "sleepboxes" in their terminals so travelers could get shut eye on the go for $15 per hour (or $50 per night).

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"Capsule bed" manufacturer Eric Wong, left, and his son Osbert pose inside a modified capsule-like bedroom imported from Japan in his showroom in Hong Kong.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

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Filed by Kate Auletta  |