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A sweatshirt massage is better than no massage at all

The AiraWear vest can hit your shoulders, lower and upper back -- all while hiding under a hoodie or jacket.
A sweatshirt massage is better than no massage at all
Mat Smith
Mat Smith|@thatmatsmith|January 7, 2016 10:47 PM

I like massages. Who doesn't? But what if you could get a massage while you worked? Stood up or sat down anywhere. In your home, the office, or in the car? That's the premise of the AiraWear, a massage vest that embeds into (at the moment) a zip-up hoodie. I'm typing part of this article while my shoulders are being gently teased by two firm foam points, backed by air cushions that inflate and deflate. I just cranked the power to max and I'm feeling pretty good.

Gallery: Airawear massage vest at CES 2016 | 10 Photos

Airawear Massage Jacket: Hands-on at CES 2016

It's not the first massage wearable we've seen, but it's a surprisingly effective one. Six inflatable pads have stiffened foam points attached to them: these are positioned in a way to ease muscle knots and generally feel nice. The vest also inflates in strips running vertically along your back, which adds a body compression effect, which keeps those expanding pads in place and, according to parent company Tware, strengthens mental focus. (The company has worked on stress- and pain-relieving wearables for a few years.) Of course, it looks like you have a bunch of lumps growing out of your back, but that's the price you pay for a massage at your desk. The massage effect is notably stronger when you're sat in a chair, which helps push the massage pads into your back.

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Targeted massages can be directed to the upper and lower back, as well as the shoulders, with a relax mode that attacks all three and a sleep option that's altogether gentler. The current prototype lasts for three hours of massage, with a rechargeable battery that holsters in the side of the vest. It can be attached to zip-up clothes: the company has made several items for both men and women. The vest also performs a secondary function monitoring your posture. A little boxy stickman will reproduce what you're doing in real life and tell you when you should sit up / stand up straight. The company will launch a crowdfunding campaign next month, and plans to fulfill preorders in Fall 2016. How much? Expect it to fall just short of $250 -- and a cheeky discount if you decide to back the project early.

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A sweatshirt massage is better than no massage at all