This iPhone app personalizes your robot massage

Human Touch unveils its latest "wellness solution" at the Vegas World Market Show--an app designed to let users better personalize the AcuTouch 9500 robotic massage chair.

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
2 min read

Wellness company Human Touch says HT-Connect, an application slated for release in May as a free download via HT-Connect.com or Apple's App Store, will interact with the company's newest massage chair, the AcuTouch 9500:

By seamlessly interfacing with HT-Connect, the new AcuTouch 9500 massage chair will be the first robotic massage chair to offer individuals a fully customized massage and wellness experience by providing instant access to a wealth of massage programs, expertise, and user-friendly applications--all at their fingertips via Bluetooth wireless connection on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

The AcuTouch 9500 now comes with an app to better "personalize" one's robotic chair massage. Human Touch

"By making this innovative app available to consumers," according to Human Touch CEO David Wood, "we're able to deliver a user experience that offers the same personalized and professional massage that one would receive at a spa or from a real, professional massage therapist." (The irony of the company's name seems to have been lost well before this announcement.)

Key features of the app include 16 programmed massages connected to one's iPhone or iPod Touch, with such names as "Morning Wake up," "Surrender," "Rejuvenate," and "Sleep." It also offers direct access to "Wellness Council" experts for advice and tips, providing an intimate connection that is vowed to "allow users to feel better everywhere." Truly an exciting claim.

And if you're still not convinced, consider the app's near-sentient ability to, again in the company's words, "know what users need and when they need it, expertly prescribed by time of day." And if you are not using your own AcuTouch 9500, rest assured that whichever 9500 you are using, HT-Connect will recognize you and your every-desire-and-preprogrammed-setting.

And finally, for busy, working, on-the-go types with little time for such activities as meditative robotic massage, let alone quick massages conducted by human hands, HT-Connect also comes with "Espresso Shots," which is supposed to be a very hip name for short, targeted massages touted to bring relief in just 5 minutes. Because we all know that espresso and relaxation go hand-in-hand.

Chairs--and not just massage chairs--have a long, winding, and bumpy bit of history. CribCandy has compiled one of my favorite lists, which include diaper-style wearable chairs, hamster wheel rocking chairs, and speaker chairs. And then there is this not-to-be-missed Hawaiian exercise-without-standing-up chair featured on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2008 (right).

Don't get me wrong; the free HT-Connect app has a lot going for it, especially for those who already own and find satisfaction in an AcuTouch 9500, as well as an iPhone. But even the tech geek in me likes my massages to be, well, of human derivation.