Are Sweatshirt Massages the Way of the Future?


Many people have been sitting at their desks at work trying to remove yet another kink in their shoulders or backs and thinking, “Wow, I could really use a massage right now.” Those employees often desperately wish for a solution, and there is now a gadget for it: an AiraWear sweatshirt.

Tech news site Engadget reports that the sweatshirt is essentially a vest that can be put inside a zip-up hoodie. There are many ways to find comfort at home or in the office, like portable massage kits and other wearable massage devices. The AiraWear is a new option, though some are still not sold on it.

The sweatshirt uses six inflatable pads, which are attached to stiff foam points. They are laid out within the vest in strips that go down the back, and from there the user is able to control the sweatshirt, inflating and deflating the pads where there are tight muscle knots.

The user can direct the massage to any part of the upper or lower back and shoulders. There is also “relax mode,” which helps all three, and “sleep mode,” which is a gentle massage.

The vest comes with a rechargeable battery that gives up to three hours of massage time, and the company also makes different types for men and women.

According to Pocket-Lint, a site that reviews new gadgets, the AiraWear was featured at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016), where its makers showcased the garment’s ability to collect this biodata. AiraWear is launching a crowdfunding campaign for this project in February and says they plan to begin fulfilling orders in the fall.

Of course, wearable technology has always been a tough sell, and this sweatshirt isn’t the first wearable massage gadget to debut at CES and then fail to launch. That’s why many skeptics are still convinced that gadgets like these are both a fad and too expensive for the average person to justify purchasing. For the millions of people suffering from neck and back pain, as well as the stress of everyday life, a traditional massage at home might be more beneficial.

“Lying face down with your spine and head in a natural curve while getting a massage allows your nerves and muscles to re-program to help reduce inflammation and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back,” said Steve Fried, President of Tranquil Touch, Inc.

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