Sogno, Robotic Masseuse
The Robot Massage Chair Who Loved Me: CES 2009
October 1, 2009 12:00 AM
Inada Sogno Massage Chair
LAS VEGAS—If you like massage chairs—and you do, you have to, because every muscle you have is designed to enjoy being groped—you’ll love the Inada Sogno. All three models on display at CES Unveiled were in constant use. The wait was worth it, though. Compared to the tentative, fumbling massage chairs at your local mall, the Sogno is a seasoned robotic masseuse, taking care of the usual business—back, neck, buttocks—before squeezing your calves, your feet, and your fingers. Because the chair is more like an acceleration couch than a chair, with pockets for your arms and legs, it exerts total control over your body. It even grips your trapezius muscles, those long connective ones between your neck and shoulder. In all, the Sogno has 120 square inches of massaging surface area, and can supposedly scan 106 body types. You can adjust the pressure up and down, and go for a shorter, 8-minute routine, or the full 15 minutes.
After at least 10 minutes in the Sogno, we discovered two reasons why it’s more brilliant than it sounds. The leg-and-foot compression feels completely novel, the motors are completely encircling you. And then there’s the full-body extension, where the chair straightens you out, and then keeps going. Your back winds up slightly arched, and, like with the legs, the first time it happens, you want to bolt out of the chair. After all, this body-scanning mechanical chair is basically a robot, and aren’t robots destined to rebel? But these two features are the real highlights of the Sogno’s weirdly confident massage routines, and another reason to envy, hate, or befriend whoever still has $6500 in disposable income sitting around to purchase one of these robotic massage servants. —Erik Sofge