Singapore team rubs shoulders discreetly with hi-tech massage jacket

SINGAPORE A Singapore design team claims to have come up with a solution to coping with aches and pain in the office – a jacket that massages your muscles and attempts to correct your posture.

Controlled by a mobile app and able to run for around three hours after a USB charge, ‘Aira’ uses air pressure devices inside the jacket which expand to target pressure points and produce the sensation of a massage.

Lin Wei Liang, the CEO of designers TWare, said the jacket was a practical office aid for people who had developed posture problems from sitting at a desk for lengthy periods or spent too long hunched over a mobile device.

“What we have here is much more invisible, discreet, something that you can wear just like a normal hoodie or jacket, and yet you can get that massage without people noticing,” he told Reuters.

Lin said his company was in the process of securing a patent for the jacket, which retails at $119 and has been developed with more than $75,000 of funds raised using crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.

However, not everyone is convinced.

Physiotherapist Michelle Tong agreed it could be used to de-stress but was unsure about its ability to treat pain.

“You question whether the person would develop a tolerance to it,” she told Reuters.

“Each time they’re using it, they end up having to apply a high pressure each time, just to get the same effect, as you would if you were taking painkillers for the long-term.”

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore. Editing by Nick Macfie)

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