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AiraWear : World’s First Massage Hoodie

Posted in Design, and Technology

AiraWear targets muscles & pain points to release tension from hours of slouching while helping to improve poor posture.

If you have been experiencing back pains, shoulder aches and a stiff neck from sitting too long in the office (in front of your computer), driving long hours in your car or flying 13+ hours from the US to Japan, then this is the jacket for you. AiraWear also comes with posture correction, which detects your sitting and standing posture, and helps support and remind you when you engage in bad postures.

Massage Hoodie

The hoodie paired quickly with the Bluetooth and Android app on my phone and within a few minutes, I was already playing around with the settings, which include “relax,” “shoulder,” “lower back” and “sleep.”

When the AirWear gets cranking, it pumps air into pockets that feel like large gumdrops. The result is surprising at first, but quickly becomes addictive. It’s a bit like having firm but gentle fists pushed into various parts of your back, so it’s more of a pressure point experience than a massage that kneads your muscles. Each program activates slightly different parts of the hoodie, and the intensity with which it presses into your back can be controlled with a slider in the app.

Massage Hoodie

The programs each last for 20 minutes, and you can just start another one after a program ends if you want to. And believe me, I wanted to. I had a really hard time taking this thing off because the air action was that good. Fortunately it runs for three-to-six hours on a single charge, so there was no hurry to get out of it.

Speaking of charges, there is a square battery pack built into one side of the vest that juices up with a micro-USB cable. It takes about one-to-two hours to get a full charge. When holding the hoodie, the battery pack seems like it would be unwieldy, but you really don’t notice it when it’s on.

One of my concerns with the AiraWear was that you’d need to be sitting in a chair in order to get those air gum drops to press adequately into your back – but that’s not the case. Because of the tight fit, the hoodie does it thing whether you’re sitting, standing or walking around.

Massage Hoodie

The app had one setting called “sleep” that didn’t really do much, and I can’t really imagine sleeping in this thing anyway. While the massaging action is top-notch, the vest is made out of plastic and the whole thing is a bit bulky so it’s not really loungewear. Likewise, I’m not so sure how comfortable I’d be traveling in this because it’s actually kind of stiff – which is the point. But while sitting at my desk, it’s hard to imagine a day I won’t put it on – at least the vest part, which removes pretty easily so that you can wash the hoodie.

The hoodie itself is made from a cotton/polyester blend. It’s thin, but provides light to mid-level warmth. Another function of the app is that it can serve as a posture corrector. I didn’t find this feature to be all that useful, but unlike other wearables that just beep at you when you’re slouching, this one inflates. The effect is like a big hand pushing on your low back, reminding you to sit up straight. The AiraWear is available for US$129 on kickstarter.

Product page: AiraWear

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