You know the saying — sleep is for the weak. In reality, sleep is integral to our health — both physical and mental — to ensure we’re giving our body and mind time to rest and recuperate. It’s why the creators of Aura Circle wants to make sure everyone — whether you sleep “like a rock” or easily wake up through the night — can help discover a good night’s sleep. Aura Circle has worked and researched with experts within the field to create a sleep mask that, when used during your escape to dreamland, can help soothe you as you rest.
Inspired by founder Andy Chow after his own desire to finally have a good night of rest, the Aura wireless sleep mask was created to provide those suffering with sleep to find serenity and relaxation. But, how exactly does the mask do it? From a 100% blackout feature that ensures all external light is blocked to a 3D hug eye cushion, a memory foam eye cushion that attaches to the mask magnetically. Best of all, the mask can be used alongside the Aura dreamscape app which contains a curated library of zen-infused calming soundscapes and light therapy sessions.
To discuss Aura Circle, Schön! chats with founder Andy Chow about the inspiration behind the mask, product features, what’s upcoming for the brand, and more.
What first prompted you to start Aura Circle? Did you want to create something to help you sleep better?
At Aura, we believe wellness and harmony are essential for a better life and a better world. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping yet sleep is often taken for granted. Sleep is a basic necessity that is essential for everyone to be re-energized, refreshed, and ready for the next day.
Getting enough sleep is crucial but what matters more is the sleep quality. I have been suffering from insomnia for many years and have tried numerous sleep products but to no avail. That’s why we made our first Aura. Our mission is to deliver a seamless sleeping experience to our users with superior comfort and ease of use.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder and 30% of adults have insomnia. Why was it important for you to create something to combat this?
As I have been down this road before, I am no stranger to the stress of not getting enough sleep and how sleep deprivation negatively affects work productivity. In the 21st century, the majority of the world’s population gets less than 6 hours of shut-eye on a daily basis, making sleep become the ultimate luxury. That’s why we made our first Aura. Our mission is to deliver a seamless sleeping experience to our users with superior comfort and ease of use. Having a good night’s sleep will not only promote your mood but your health as well as productivity. We hope everyone can benefit from Aura and continue the positive influence circle for a better world.
When designing the mask, what things did you have to consider?
What we are doing is revolutionary by redefining Sleep and we put safety as our first priority. We spent a lot of time on trial runs, and lab tests in order to meet industry standards. Aura is certified withFCC, IC, CE, UKCA, and RoHS regulations, so users can rest assured that Aura is safe to use. Another consideration is the weight distribution. Given that Aura is a wearable product, we need to make sure it is lightweight (less than 130g) without causing any unnecessary burden on the face, making it comfortable to wear all night long.
The mask has a very minimalistic design with a 3D eye cushion. What inspired this design? What was the process when designing?
The inspiration is actually from me and Adrian. As a sleep mask frequent user, we are very concerned about sleep hygiene, that’s why from the very beginning we specifically requested our 3D hug cushion to be detachable and washable. We worked tirelessly with our French ID designer to guarantee 100% blackout once our 3D Hug cushion is snapped onto the eye mask, blocking 100% of light even in broad daylight.
Can you explain how light therapy helps you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed?
Our Aura sleep mask features a signature design called Glow – a light beam that sits comfortably within the mask. It serves 2 purposes:
The Glow feature
This syncs with our meditation content in order to deliver the ultimate experience to our users. Imagine doing a guided breath-work session, as you hear the yoga instructor’s voice to “Breathe in, Hold and Breathe out”, our Glow feature simultaneously “Glow; Hold and Dim”, which can create an immersive experience for relaxation with minimal distraction.
Sunrise wake up
Imagine being in complete darkness for 7-8 hours, it is difficult for your eyes to adapt to the light in a room environment when you take off the mask. This is where our Sunrise wake-up feature becomes helpful. Our Glow beam will gradually light up with gentle hues for a few minutes before the alarm kicks in, easing your mind to welcome a brand new day, a brand new adventure. A lot of feedback from our trial run users pointed out that this feature really improved their wake-up experience and from our data, over 85% of users who selected the Sunrise Wake-Up feature seldom snooze back.
What is the Aura Dreamscape App? How does it work?
Our Aura Dreamscape App allows users to choose their favourite audio content and personalize a bedtime sequence that is tailored only for you. The Aura app is available for free on both iOS and Android platforms. Once you pair the app with the aura sleep mask via Bluetooth, you are able to unlock all the app features and audio content.
You can craft your own dreamscape sequence selected from our audio library, such as ASMR; Live Nature Sound, and Guided Meditation, then you can adjust the light therapy option; set your alarm clock, and even control the audio duration that fits your sleep routine. It is very user-friendly and once the dreamscape has been set up, simply put on the mask and press the start button on the mask to begin your sleep journey. Users can also write a diary on the Aura app before bed and keep track of their emotions after waking up, helping users to become more aware of their inner thoughts and emotions.
Other than sleep, how can the mask be used?
As a stylish wearable product, the usage is limitless, the most common practice will be using it for power nap; guided meditation, and breath-work exercises.
What does Aura Circle offer customers compared to its competitors?
In terms of product design and features, the first thing you are going to notice is that it is very lightweight and is made with breathable materials. The built-in audio is seamlessly nestled within the eye mask that does not cover your ears for better comfort and it is optimized for side-sleepers. We also offer our Aura app to access exclusive Dreamscapes audio content. In terms of product innovation, Aura’s Glow, Audio Balance, and Smart Duration are exclusive features that are not available elsewhere in the market. Aura is designed to give our users the ultimate sleep experience they deserve.
Do you plan on creating any more products in the future in regard to sleep solutions?
We have a clear road map and a series of aura products worth waiting for. As a healthcare wellness startup, our next goal is to step up our sleep algorithm to measure accurate sleep biometrics tracking. This will trigger real-time responses to enhance the sleep experience, including but not limited to deep sleep extension and potential health diagnosis.