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CES: VR reinvents massage



Visitors to CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week will be able to discover how VR technology is changing the concept of what a total massage can be.  OHCO, developers of full-body shiatsu massage chairs, in collaboration with Esqapes, the first-ever virtual reality (VR) massage centre in the USA, will showcase the technology at booth # 21066 in South Hall 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 7 to 9 January 2020.

The concept is not entirely new, though, and is already well-established in South Africa. Sheer Bliss, a corporate and mobile massage company that conducts sessions at clients’ offices, introduced MEED massage with Virtual Reality back in June 2018. Qualified therapists arrive at the office with VR headsets, set to a beautiful vacation scene. Once the headset is fitted, the client is given both a visual and audio effect, so that they feel as though they are no longer in the office.  The therapists perform a “6 Minute Moment Massage’ while the client can look around and take in the virtual landscape (keep an eye on Gadget for a review of the service).

In the United States, the Esqapes wellness centres use an Oculus VR headset and OHCO M.8 massage chair, paired to provide more than ten different environments accompanied by sensory components like sound, heat and scents, promising a total immersive relaxation. Each of these components are triggered by the VR software to complement an exotic locale. For example, users feel warmth near their toes and smell clove and cinnamon as they lounge by the fireplace in the “Snowbank Cabin” environment.

“At Esqapes, our goal is to use beautiful, exotic, VR environments to transport people to another place, as they enjoy their full body massage in the luxurious M.8 massage chair,” says Micah Jackson, founder and CEO, Esqapes. “We conducted extensive research and chose the M.8 because it’s the epitome of high-quality, and we are excited to work with OHCO at CES to showcase how VR technology and massage therapy can be paired together for the benefit of relaxation and overall wellness.”

The M.8 enhances each session at Esqapes by delivering an unrivaled and unequalled singular, transcendent massage experience that is honed to perfection and refined to feel human. Designed by Ken Okuyama, the creative genius behind the Ferrari Enzo and Maserati Birdcage, the M.8 massage chair integrates visual refinement, groundbreaking capabilities and is the only chair on the market that incorporates rear-swinging doors to deliver a new level of convenience and accessibility in massage chairs.

“From the inception to the finished product, the OHCO M.8 massage chairs were meticulously designed with the intent to set a new standard of what a luxury massage chair should be,” says Cliff Levin, founder and CEO, OHCO. “Together with Esqapes, we are proud to be at the intersection where emerging technology and timeless traditions meet in order to help spearhead the future of health and wellness.”