Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – August 12, 2013”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com‘ and today we are doing our bi-weekly massage chair industry update. Today is August the 12th, 2013 and summer is coming to a rapid close, it’s kind of mind boggling how fast time flies. We can see that some of the massage chair companies are getting ready for the 4th quarter, and I mentioned either one or two recordings back that sometimes the companies will come out with new models around this time of the year, or before the 4th quarter, so that they’ve got everything up and running and ready for Christmas, for the Christmas rush.
[SCREEN TEXT: Any New Models Coming Out?]
Alan: Of course, Christmas and Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the busiest time of the year for us. Sure enough, we’ve had the new Infinity Iyashi announced, and I’ve talked about that one in our showroom. I’ll talk a little bit about that later on in this recording, but we have the new Infinity Iyashi out, we have the new Osaki OS-7200CR, and I will talk about that one a little bit later. We also have that new Osaki OS-3000 Chiro, which is a redesign of the old 3000, and I think those are the models we have right now. There may be some other ones coming out in the near future, or some tweaks on existing models, but I will keep you posted. I hear some rumblings about some of the other companies maybe having something, but nothing definitive yet, and I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: Anyway, as far as stock status goes, we are in good shape for most of the chairs now. Osaki’s only back-order right now is the OS-7200H in ‘Ivory,’ which is about four weeks out. It looks like Human Touch is good, and Infinity is good. The Iyashi shipment is coming in on August 29th, and that week they’re expecting quite a few. They’ve, I think they’ve got over 60 of the ‘Red’ color coming in, and about 20 of the ‘Brown,’ the ‘Caramel Brown’ coming in. There’s a full two loads coming in of that chair, or two container shipments of that chair coming in. I will talk a little bit about that again, and as I mentioned, I want to talk a little bit about the Iyashi and what’s been happening over the last couple of weeks with that chair. Inada is good on their stock, Panasonic’s good, they were back-ordered on the 30007, but that’s supposed to be in this week. So as of now, Panasonic’s doing OK. As far as I know, Luraco, Cozzia, and Omega are all doing well as far as stock goes. So, that’s the stock update.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Osaki OS-7200CR]
Alan: Let’s talk a little bit about this new Osaki OS-7200CR. Now, I have had one here delivered locally to one of my customers. They ordered a ‘Dark Brown’ one, of the 7200H, and they didn’t have that coming, they had the new CR coming in before that. So, my boys went and delivered that chair, and it has a little different look than the – I mean, it’s pretty much the same chair as the 7200H, except it has kind of a dome covered top to the chair back, which actually makes it look a little cleaner, a little cooler, a little better lines on it – it also has foot rollers, which is a nice feature. One thing also that we noticed is that there’s less airbags on the 7200CR than there is on the 7200H, and as near as I can tell, that deficiency in airbags is in the headpiece. On the 7200H, they used an Inada Sogno-like airbag mechanism that inflated down on your traps, and inflated on to the back of the cervical musculature, or the neck muscles. Those have been done away with, and that’s probably the difference in the three or four airbags that are not now available on the 7200CR. The color schemes are the same, the basic design, all of the functions are the same, except for the foot rollers. Foot rollers have really become kind of the in vogue thing nowadays, everybody’s starting to have them on their chairs. We know that Infinite Therapeutics integrated them on three or four of their models, now Osaki’s got it on two models. That’s pretty good stuff, and I’ve got to be honest, most people really like the the foot rollers when they sit on the chairs in our showroom. Anyway now, the Infinity Iyashi, I have mentioned quite a bit in the last few weeks as we’ve been eagerly anticipating its arrival in to the U.S. market.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Iyashi Update]
Alan: Of course, we have one in our showroom, we’ve sat on it, I’ve written a two-part review on it. It’s a great chair, I really like it. I love the butt massage with the 49-inch roller system that comes all the way down the seat, fantastic. The neck musculature is a little weak, but we’ve found that – I mean, the neck musculature massage is not as intense as the IT-8500 or the 8200 in the automatic programs – but when you put it in a manual program, and move the rollers up to the neck, it’s plenty vigorous. The feedback I’ve been getting on the Iyashi chair – and I’ve had, I think, three couples come in to the showroom as couples trying out the different chairs – everybody loves the Iyashi, but there’s some people, the wives particularly, that are having trouble imagining where this chair is going to fit in their decorum. Now, as you know, most chairs have a Naugahyde or faux synthetic leather upholstery in black, or brown, or charcoal, or whatever the color may be. Well, the Iyashi has a white, hard, kind of a plastic shell with the interior upholstery being the red or the tan, so it’s a very modern-looking chair, it looks very contemporary.
Maybe right now while the market gets accustomed to it, some folks are going to struggle maybe with the look and fitting it in to their, you know, beautiful classic, or modern decorum because the plastic is that stark, but it is beautiful, it’s a neat chair, I love the chair, and I think everybody’s going to learn to learn to love it. I don’t know if Infinity’s going to, you know, if Infinite Therapeutics is planning on changing the plastic color to darker brown or black in conjunction with the red and the tan interior, but the chair really does look kind of neat. It’s a nice look, even with the, you know, the white exterior, I don’t have a problem with it. Of course, I’m not trying to make it match anything in my house, but it’s a very nice looking chair, a cool looking chair. OK, that’s the Iyashi.
[SCREEN TEXT: iRobotics 6 S – Upgraded Features]
Alan: Let’s see, the Luraco, I just got an announcement, actually it just came in today from Luraco, and they have the iRobotics 6 massage chair, which is their flagship chair, and they are announcing new features in the iRobotics 6 S. That chair will be coming out in the fall, and it’s basically the same chair, except with some software changes, and here are the new features. Voice responses, including English, Vietnamese, French, and Spanish, which I think is fascinating, I think it’s a great idea, built-in music speakers, nothing that we haven’t seen before, better massage profile or software, especially for foot massage. One thing that’s pretty cool about Luraco is that since they assemble the chairs here, and a good portion of the chair is manufactured here in the U.S., they have the liberty to change the software and upgrade the software of the chair whenever they want.
I’ve had, I’ve seen one of their engineers come here to my showroom, and take care of a customer here locally in upgrading their software, and upgrading the latest – like when the chair first came out, it had their stretch program just had the ottoman going up and down, it didn’t have the chair back going up and down – so we recommended that they add a coincidental chair back going up and down while the ottoman’s going up and down, and they integrated that. Well, it was just a software change. So, they came by and they actually flew out here, they upgraded the software on my chair and on my customer’s chair, and now we have the stretch program. So, that what I just mentioned brings two things to point. Number one is they upgrade the software and they make the software to do whatever they want it to do, but we are the recipients of that promptly. We don’t have to wait for a manufacturing plant in China to integrate it, and then, you know, months out in the new shipment we get this upgrade. This is something they can do immediately, and make the change for our customers virtually immediately. The second thing that speaks to is how good their customer support is, I’ve been very impressed with Luraco. I’m a little, still a little miffed by their $3000 price increase on the chair on July 1st, but I will say their customer support’s fantastic. They’re very responsive to my customers, they make sure that everybody’s happy, and I’m very, very grateful for that. It’s tough to put a price on that because sometimes we have responses from companies that are slow and lethargic, and customers start to complain and get grumpy, and I don’t blame them. The problem is they ream on me about it, and I just have no control over that, except that I write a letter or call the massage chair company and say, ‘What the dickens is going on, and why the fat crap is my customer calling me.’ They should be calling the company that made the chair or is importing the chair, but Luraco, they really do a good job with taking care of the customers, and making sure that everything’s up to date, and all the software’s up to date, and it looks like they’re obviously working on increasing the feature set. Anyway so, the last thing that’s included in this software update is Bluetooth control with free application, or free app – customer can control massage chair from their tablet or Galaxy phone – and they do note here that the Bluetooth will be an additional option, so that is the update from Luraco with regards to their iRobotics 6.
[SCREEN TEXT: White Glove Delivery?]
Alan: I have written a couple of articles over the last couple of weeks that I just wanted to mention. I’ve written, you know, I write quite a bit and we post quite a bit on our blog. By the way, if you want to read more information on massage chairs and you continue to use this as a significant resource in your massage chair purchase process, or your due diligence, please go to the blog. The blog, I think we have over 600 articles, and I’ve written all of them, and there’s just more and more content always available about these chairs, and always things to talk about. Well, one of the things I talk about is ‘White Glove’ delivery, in one of the articles, and a lot of people wonder, ‘Do I need the ‘White Glove’ delivery, is it worth it, does the guy that’s installing it know more than I do about installing it, is it heavy, can I do without it,’ or whatever. So, there’s all these, kind of these conditional things that come in to play when you’re considering the ‘White Glove’ service. You know, if you’re 80 years old and you can barely lift up the chair, the kitchen chair you’re sitting on, well maybe you should get ‘White Glove’ service, and not think that you can put this thing together because you still have to lift the bloody thing and haul it in to your house, it might be tough. On the other hand, if you’re young and you can lift, but you’re completely inept, as I am, with mechanical things, well maybe ‘White Glove’ service, maybe you need someone to come in and install it for you. I don’t know, it’s all very conditional depending on what your situation is, but read the article, I go in to some great detail about that, and hopefully that’ll help you decide if you want ‘White Glove’ service or not, if it’s worth the $200.
[SCREEN TEXT: Help Me Create the Ultimate Massage Chair]
Alan: Then, the other thing I wrote about, and this is one of the last things I want to talk about today, is I’ve been thinking a lot lately about if I was to create my own massage – first of all, I get a lot of people that come in to my showroom, and they’ll sit on all of the chairs, we have 15 chairs in there, and you know, after two hours or three hours in there, they’ll say – ‘Well, I love the foot rollers in that one, I love the armrests in that one, I love the look of that one, and I love the, you know whatever, headband massage in that one, and I like how deep the rollers go on my low back.’ So, it’s kind of like they’ve got all these features they love about a chair, and it’s a la carte. If it was a la carte, we could just whip together a chair say ‘OK, a little of that, a little of that, bing, bang, boom, you’ve got yourself a chair.’ Well, it’s not quite so easy, of course, and we have to deal with what cards have been dealt to us by the massage chair companies. But I got to thinking, ‘What would my ultimate massage chair have,’ and so I made a list. I started writing, writing, writing, and 2000 words later I came up with about 17 things that I would really like to see in a chair, maybe not altogether game breakers, but things that I really, really like. Then, I posted this article on my blog, and then I mentioned it on Facebook, and I mentioned it on my Google Plus page, and in Twitter, and I asked people to maybe give their feedback as to what features they would like to see in a chair.
One customer wrote about using the Thai stretch program that is in the Osaki 7075 chair. I had another fellow mention to me that he’d like to have the – another fellow – oh, mentioned a remote control that could control other things than just the chair, like a universal remote, and so there’s other features that people really like, and that I may not have mentioned or even considered. So, I invite you to come to go to our blog and write in the comments section, or go to our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel, and add in the features that you think you’d like to see in the ultimate massage chair. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to create that thing and make it available, but we’ll see. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that that’s kind of a fun thing I’m doing, and trying to interact with the customers, and getting some feedback from the customers as to those things that they really, really like about a massage chair.
OK, you know what, I think that’s just about it for this week. We’re heading in to September and the fall, I suspect before Christmas we’re going to be hearing a little bit more, maybe from some other massage chair companies. I’m just kind of guessing that we’re going to see some different models come out, or new model features come out, or something. There’s going to be some things, like I said, we’ve seen Luraco make some updates, we’ve seen the new Iyashi chair, we’ve seen the new Osaki 7200CR chair, the upgraded Osaki 3000, so who knows what else is coming out. I don’t know if Human Touch has got something coming, or Panasonic, or Omega, or any of the other companies. I don’t know yet, but I would bet my bottom dollar that something different is going to be coming out from somebody, so just FYI, keep your eyes peeled for that, it’s always exciting to see what people are coming up with. I think this 49-inch roller track on the Iyashi is the big thing right now, I love it, I think it’s phenomenal, and I’ve talked about it in the review. We’re starting with videos on that too, I submitted the first video last week to YouTube, you can go watch it, it’s the ‘Iyashi – Introduction.’ We’re going to be putting the ‘First Time Use of the Iyashi’ video up tomorrow, and you know, the lighting’s a little bad, and I didn’t realize it until after we recorded the videos, but the lighting’s a little weak in some of the angles and I apologize for that, but the future videos hopefully will have some better lighting.
Anyway, that’s about it for this week. If you found this video helpful, or you found any of the information in it helpful or useful, please feel free to ‘Like’ us on YouTube, or on any of the social platforms where you might find us. Feel free to share us on Facebook and Twitter. Please feel free to leave comments if you have any questions or concerns on anything that I’ve said that has made you think of something that you’re not sure of the answer of, please feel free to – I’m an open book – and we’re always available to you, either myself or Rachel or somebody will answer the phone for you, and we will get you taken care of. Again, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com.’ We appreciate you visiting with us today, and taking the time to watch these videos, and learning more about the industry, and about the chair that perhaps you are getting ready to buy. Again, I’m always available if you need me for any assistance in the process of learning about these chairs. I’m Dr. Alan Weidner for ‘Massage-Chair-Relief,’ have a great day, see you next time. Bye bye.
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