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 BauhÃ¼tte, the device uses 15 heated air cushions to supposedly simulate the feel of a real massage and, well, why not. BauhÃ¼tte 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 BauhÃ¼tte 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.