Freaky-awesome massage vest rubs you up with your own tunes

An app-connected vest triggers a soothing massage using the music library on your iPhone. Yes, this is real.

iMusic BodyRhythm vest
CNET Crave blogger Amanda Kooser gets a "Gangnam Style" massage. Amanda Kooser/CNET

LAS VEGAS--If you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to have Mick Jagger massage the knots in your back muscles while you listen to "Tumbling Dice," then I have the perfect gadget for you. The iMusic BodyRhythm massage vest sits over your shoulders and upper back. Plug it into your iPhone, fire up the app, and enjoy a rubdown to the beat of your favorite song.

I got to try out a fully functioning prototype of the vest at CES 2013. The vest's creator Uwe Diegel hooked me up with some "Gangnam Style" massage action. I could see going for the full-album experience and having an extended session with "Exile on Main Street." It would be a very different way of experiencing the music.

The app doesn't just mine the massage possibilities of your music collection. It can also be used like a personal drum machine where you trigger your own massage beats. If you really want to get crazy with it, then you can set it to react to shaking the iPhone. I tried out this mode and it feels like having half a dozen cats dancing on your back.

Diegel says that the vest isn't a medical device so much as a fun way to relax while enjoying your favorite music. He sounds a bit bemused that he has spent a considerable amount of time designing medical devices, but this oddball creation is getting all the attention. Diegel has gotten enough encouragement for the concept to launch a Kickstarter project.

A $69 super-early-bird pledge will get you a vest of your own should the Kickstarter project reach its $50,000 goal. The regular pre-order price is $149.

There is something both surreal and comforting about this vest. Even though I wore it in public at CES, I can't really see wearing it in public. Still, in the privacy of my own home, with a glass of champagne and some Nick Lowe, this might be just the ticket for a relaxing evening in.

Featured Video
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

NYC taxis to compete with Uber

NYC taxis set to launch an app of their own, one billion people visit Facebook in a day, Chrome sets end date for Flash support and HTC's Vive VR headset gets delayed.

by Jeff Bakalar