Here’s something for the gamer who has it all: a tabletop hand massager that can be used to take the strain off your sore mittens and keep you in great shape.
Created by Japanese gaming hardware and peripherals maker Bauhütte, the device uses 15 heated air cushions to supposedly simulate the feel of a real massage and, well, why not. Bauhütte recommends that you use the massager before playing to warm your hands; during breaks to improve circulation; and after you finish rubbing the stiffness of your tired little fingers. Because you deserve it.
A shiatsu mode will apparently rub your palms with firm pressure, while a “thimble” mode will pull and stretch each finger one by one. The only thing missing is a grip mode to give you a touch of encouragement when you need a mid-game boost.
The device (which we spotted via Kotaku) is a fun little contraption, of course, but not so great as an innovation. You can find dozens of similar items online with a quick search for “electric hand massager”, although Bauhütte gave the item a stylish matte black makeover to appeal to its target audience. The device pairs well with the company’s other SkyMall gear for gamers, including a heated mattress and portable foot massager.
Really, however, what terrifies me about this gadget is not what it says about the potential gaming-related thrift store market (every hobby has its trinkets), but the idea that it might a day being compromised in some sort of cyberpunk spy plot. Imagine a high stakes esports competition, where a team hacks a rival’s hand massager to snap a few fingers before or even during the big game. What the machines have given, the machines can take back.
The hand-held massager is apparently only available in Japan at the moment for around $ 150, but Amazon stocks a bunch of similar devices if you can feel those cramps getting strong.