My first day walking the show floor at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was going just fine until I past something that made me stop short.
Dozens of people were sprawled on their backs on top of massage chairs, eyes closed, trying to seek some relaxation from the show’s hectic atmosphere.
If it was just one instance, I might have shaken the whole thing off, but these clusters of massage chair circles are all over CES.
Now I’ve tried the usual Brookstone and Sharper Image massage chairs at malls before, and while they’re usually better than nothing, I’m usually left wincing as the knobs dug into my back.
Curious to see what the massage chairs of 2015 are capable of, I finally decided to wait in two of the lines to see what all the fuss was about.
It should be no surprise that the lines didn’t move very quickly (it’s almost like people aren’t in a rush to get from a massage chair), but finally I got to try Luraco’s $US65,000 massage chair and then Panasonic’s new $US8,000 chair.
Climbing into the things felt more like I lying down on Darth Vader’s operating table, as everything from my feet to my arms and hands were slotted into some massage compartment.
The massage lasted somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes and was…alright.
Both chairs I tried came with a remote that lets you customise every aspect of your massage, but I preferred Panasonic’s chair to Luraco’s.
Panasonic’s massage chair did this cool back and neck stretching move that actually felt like it was stretching my body for me, and I only found myself wincing once as a rogue roller dug into my lower back.
All in all, I guess $US8,000 in 2015 buys you a decent massage, but I couldn’t help but wonder who actually pays for these things. I think most people trying them out just wanted a place to lie down before continuing their exploration of the show floor.