What if you could get a massage while you’re walking around running errands? That’s the idea behind Aira (pronounced era), a “mobile massage suite” that helps work your tired back muscles while you’re out and about. Perhaps the best part is that no one will even know you’re wearing it because it looks like an average hoodie. A prototype Aira jacket was shown off this week at IFA in Berlin.
Aira is the creation of TWare, a Singapore-based fashion and technology startup. You might remember the company from last year's hug jacket. Unlike that T.Jacket, which was developed specifically for people with sensory processing disorder and essentially provides uniform pressure, the Aira is capable of providing targeted point pressure on the upper and lower back with a rhythmic massage.
“It’s 2 in the afternoon and you’re struggling to stay awake,” says TWare’s Product Manager, Tan Jun Yuan. "Your manager almost caught you for sleeping. Coffee isn’t working and you need something to pull you through the day. What else can revitalize you, rejuvenate you? Well, we have Aira."
Unlike your average massage chair, Aira uses air pressure to produce the sensation of a massage. Based on deep-touch pressure, the air is reported capable of giving a relaxing massage while the jacket is being worn, leaving the wearer's hands free to work, read, or even cook dinner. Using air also means the jacket isn’t weighed down by massage balls or the like, so it can be worn comfortably even when the massage feature is not being used.
“If you’re commuting for long hours or being sent on business trips every week, you’re going to wear yourself out faster than you think,” says James Teh, CEO and Founder of TWare. “A handheld massager can help, but you can’t really bring it outside the house! Nobody wants to look silly, so we’re tackling this area for working adults.”
If you’d like to buy one of the jackets, you’ll have to wait a bit. The Aira is currently still in development. The founders are hoping to make the jacket available for preorder toward the end of the year.