Lots of exciting things going on at Luraco. Earlier this year they rolled out the new Luraco i9 model to replace the iRobotics 7 Plus as their flagship chair. Since then they’ve also discontinued the iRobotics 7 Plus and, earlier this month, discontinued their Legend Legend L-track model.
This last week, they introduced updates to their new i9 model, which are supposed to be released in October. Here is the summary of what the changes entail:
Luraco i9 Max Edition
The price of the i9 Max Edition will be $13,490 (a $1000 price increase over the original i9). It will have all of the same features of the original i9 but with some changes and additions:
- Improved neck and shoulder massage and comfort. For some, the neck and head positioning was not comfortable enough. Luraco added a thin pad to allow some support for the head when the rollers were working lower down the spine. Apparently, the roller frame of the i9 Max comes a bit more forward in the neck and head area, lending greater support for the user.
- Luraco mentions a new hand stretching feature from a powered armrest actuator. This is yet another patent pending for Luraco Technologies. I’ve not seen it yet, or had it explained to me, but an actuator usually facilitates movement of a part of the chair. In this case, I suspect that there is some movable part in the hand and arm assembly that pulls the hand, either out or down as part of the chair’s stretching program. That is just me spitballing, but I’ll know more in the weeks to come.
- New patented powered easy-entry armrests. The original i9 introduced manually adjusted sliding arm rests
that allowed the user to slide either armrest back to allow for easy entry and exit from the chair. Apparently, some folks had trouble reaching down to the tab that had to be lifted to allow for the armrests to move. The sliding of the armrests had to also be done manually by the user. From what I’ve been told, the new tabs will be electronic buttons that can be easily reached by the user’s hands or even the knees and, when pushed, will electronically move the armrests forward and back. Their literature also mentions that you can fully or partially adjust the position of the armrests, forward or back, to accommodate a better fit for both short and long arms. The button for adjusting the position of the armrests will be located on the exterior of the armrests.
- Improved calf rollers. I have no idea what they have done here, but their literature description says “improved calf rollers that combine with air massagers for complete massage therapy for sore calf muscles.” I’m not sure if the mechanical components of the calf rollers have been altered or if the choreography of the airbags in concert with the calf rollers has been programmed differently.
- New USB port for phone charging.
- Each new i9 will come with a built-in modem that will allow the user to update the chair’s software as changes are made by Luraco. So, with each new software update, the user can update their Luraco i9 Max chair via WiFi. A great idea which has been broached by other companies before, but this is the first time it’s actually been done. I am quite excited about this new feature.
- The connection of the remote control to the chair will be obscured so that you can’t see the connection at the side/bottom of the chair. Here is an image of the cosmetic changes from the original i9 chairs and the new i9 Max chairs:
Luraco i9 Max Special Edition
The Luraco i9 Max Special Edition will be priced at $14,990, which is $500 less than the original Custom Edition model. The i9 Max Special Edition will have everything in the new i9 Max, but with the following special features:
- The Special Edition has added dual rollers to it’s hinged L-track roller configuration. This is what the old i7+ had and it was quite popular with our clients. I am excited to see this in the new i9 Max Special Edition. I suspect it will feel somewhat similar to the old i7+ and closer to what the Daiwa Supreme Hybrid and Infinity Circadian have (also dual rollers); it should have a stronger neck and shoulder massage. I only wish this feature was available in the regular i9 Max, too. I’m a big fan of dual rollers because of my need for a stronger neck and shoulder massage. The patented “Butterfly Technology” is still part of the new rollers configuration for both the quad and dual roller options.
- Software customization (Level 1 package). The mention of this feature in Luraco’s literature includes “special keypad screens showing ownership, e.g. This chair is specially made for John Smith”. This is similar to the original i9 Custom Edition.
- Backup emergency power to restore the chair to the upright neutral position. This allows an easy exit from the chair in the event of a power outage.
The i9 Max Special Edition will basically have all of the same features as the original i9 Custom Edition, but with the dual rollers mentioned above in point #1.
Luraco i9 Max Billionaire Edition
This chair will retail for $29,990 and have all of the features of the i9 Max Special Edition plus the following features:
- Software customization (Level 2 package). The literature states the same feature as the Special Edition, but I’m not sure what the differences are between the Level 1 and Level 2 customizations.
- Special embedded software version for keypad PCB, motherboard PCB, daughter board PCB that allows the user to customer the chair performance in all auto modes. I have no idea what that software feature means or entails, but I’ll be interested to find out.
- Customized remote control software with owner’s picture on the welcome screen.
Luraco i9 Max Royal Edition
This chair lists for a hefty $49,990 price tag. It has all the features of the i9 Max Billionaire but with the following additional accents:
- 18K Gold owner’s name plate. They state that it is a real solid gold block!
- 18K Gold plated remote control cover.
- 18K Gold plated trims on the armrests and footrest.
- 18K Gold plated massage robot arms.
This sounds incredibly fancy! I’d love to see the gold plated massage robot arms. That would be something.
All of these updated i9 models come with the standard Luraco 3 years parts and labor warranty, plus two additional years of parts. What is really neat is that the leather upholstery, which is what the original i9 had, will be warranteed for 10 years. I love this idea especially since one of the common issues of the synthetic leather chair upholstery that most chairs are covered in is that after a few years the material starts to flake and disintegrate. Not pretty and sometime very hard to replace or repair.
Speaking of the leather upholstery, I am told that the new i9’s will have a more comfortable feel when you are sitting in the chair. I am not sure if that means the leather will be softer or more pliable, but I will be interested to see how different it feels.
I think that with the new upgrades, the i9 will become an industry leader in the massage chair market. Luraco already has the unique distinction of being the only US-made massage chair. Combine that with their very unique patents that we’ve not seen before, the new feature upgrades will make it even more of a phenomenon in the massage chair industry.
I am excited to see the new i9 versions. We will have them in our showrooms as soon as they are available. Come try one out for yourself.
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. UPDATE: The Luraco i9 Max series should be available to ship at the end of October. We will have models in each of our showrooms for you to try at that time. Pre-orders are being accepted now.
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