‘World’s first modular eye mask’ promises some serious shuteye

Eye masks can be tricky affairs. The challenge of maneuvering them into place to block out all traces of light can be enough to keep you awake at night, which, of course, rather defeats the whole idea. They can be uncomfortable, too, with your eyes feeling the pressure of the pads as you move around in search of a comfortable position.

The Manta Sleep Mask, described as the “world’s first modular eye mask for sleeping,” hopes to change all that.

And judging by the thousands of Kickstarter backers who together have so far offered more than 10 times the Manta’s funding target, there’s plenty of call for a decent mask that offers some serious shuteye or a meditative rest.

The key to the Manta’s design is its adjustability. Recognizing that traditional eye masks adopt a cumbersome one-size-fits-all approach, the Manta offers a personalized fit that allows you to move its cushioned eye contours into a position that feels comfortable for your eyes while completely blocking out all surrounding light.

For maximum comfort and a perfect fit, the Manta has been designed with soft, breathable cotton, and incorporates micro Velcro, anti-slip gel, and an elastic stretch band. The modular sections that cover your eyes have also been designed in a way that prevents pressure on your eyelids often experienced with conventional eye masks.

Seattle-based designer Mark Zhang said trials showed that the Manta works for “99 percent of all face shapes and gives you 100 percent blackout … Regardless of your ethnicity, age, gender, nose shape, or preferred sleeping position, Manta’s patent-pending adjustable modular eye contours create the perfect seal — because it’s specifically tailored to you.”

manta eye mask blackout

Bonus features include a pair of earplugs and a carrying pouch that doubles as a laundry mesh net so you can machine wash your the Manta without fear of damaging it.

With more than three weeks left to run, Manta’s Kickstarter campaign still has a handful of early-bird offers available, but you’ll have to be quick. Still, if you miss the $20 offer, or the $35-for-two deal, the Manta will only cost a little more — $30 — when it hits retail stores. Shipping is set to begin in August, 2017.

The only issue you’ll have with the Manta is that you might find it hard to pull yourself from your restful slumber. In that case, one of these cool alarm clocks might come in handy.

Movies & TV

How VFX magic conjured the fantastic beasts of ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’

Visual effects studio Rodeo FX and VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois explain how the colorful creatures and amazing cityscapes were created for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.