Air New Zealand has adopted a technology originally developed for astronauts, becoming the first airline in the world to launch a temperature-regulating pillow.

The pillow is coated with Outlast, developed for use in space gloves to protect against extreme temperatures and keep hands cool.

“We know quality sleep is important to our passengers, particularly those travelling in business premier on our long-haul routes," said Air New Zealand senior manager of customer experience Niki Chave. "This pillow allows passengers to lay on the side that regulates their temperature or sleep on the regular side, which ultimately gives them more control over their environment."

Outlast's temperature-regulating properties allow it to absorb heat as the skin gets hot, releasing it as the skin cools. The pillow is currently available on the airline's Chicago route, for business premier customers only.