On-Demand Massage Hoodie Kneads Out the 9-to-5 Knots
The Aira jacket one-ups the massage chair with the push of a button
Aira is a hoodie-style jacket that comes with its own massage unit, letting wearers get a shoulder and back rub on demand as they wait for the bus, drive to work or sit in a meeting. The jacket works with wearable electronics embedded in strategic parts of the fabric that connect to a free accompanying app.
The design team at Aira have not divulged many details on the specific technology that makes the jacket work, though they indicated that mobile units on the shoulders, upper back and lower back will give pressure-point massages to those areas. The accompanying app allows the user to activate or deactivate individual locations, and to adjust the intensity. This allows for a massage personalized both to how the wearer carries stress and tension, and for the specific needs of a specific time.
For example, one user could request a gentle massage to all areas for a long drive while another might program a deeper massage on both shoulders after a tense workday while a third might ask for a very deep massage on one half of his/her lower back while recovering from an injury.
Aria was developed specifically for office workers and individuals who spend a majority of their day sitting down. Occupational therapists have understood for decades that this posture can be bad for back and shoulder health. With that in mind, it is curious that their only design is a hoodie — not exactly a jacket that’s accepted in all office environments. The team has not announced any plans for a suit coat or sports coat version.
Aira is not yet available to consumers, but has passed the design and prototyping stages.