Boot Up To Sit Down
LAS VEGAS--I finally got to the lower level of the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, traditionally the home of the weirdest gadgets at CES, on Wednesday afternoon. Two of the odder items I found were chairs -- computerized, electrically powered chairs.
Fujiiryoki's Cyber-Relax SKS-1800 massage chair incorporated an array of computer-controlled motors to work over your back, shoulders, glutes, calves and feet -- with a remote control and an LCD to show what parts are getting massaged at the time. At $7,800, this is an expensive indulgence. But after 6 or 7 hours of walking around the convention center, I will tell you that seven minutes in this thing felt pretty good!
A short walk later, I came across i-Fi's "Home Theater in a Chair". This was a heavily padded lounge chair, with an iPod dock and set of controls on the right armrest, a cup holder in the left -- and a subwoofer and force-feedback motor in the seat. This $2,500 chair rumbles to the beat and shakes you if an explosion goes off on the screen. I sampled part of a song and a movie trailer, and, well... I think I prefer my media consumption to be a little less immersive. And I prefer not to have my butt robotically kicked in the process.
I-Fi also had the honor of occupying the very last row of the South Hall. That would seem to be an awful spot to draw any traffic, but one of the company's reps assured me that every morning, people getting off some of the CES shuttle buses had to walk by their booth.
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