Update to the Inada & DreamWave Saga – OHCO!!

OHCO massage chair logo
OHCO massage chair logo

Well, things certainly can change in a hurry! Back in May of this year, I wrote an article discussing the history of Inada USA, Family Inada in Japan, and the new DreamWave  line of chairs. I won’t go into redundant details, but DreamWave was a new line of chairs created by Furniture For Life (FFL), the parent company of Positive Posture, Inada USA, Panasonic, and BodyFriend massage chairs. The term “DreamWave” was the brainchild of Cliff Levin, President of FFL, and was used as the name of his new chair line.

OHCO massage chair logoRecent legal wranglings about the use of the DreamWave term have now led to the renaming of that brand to OHCO. The chairs are still the exact same, the model names are the same, the brains behind the new line is still the same, and the pricing hasn’t changed…only the brand name has changed. In an interview with me last month, Mr. Levin explains the OHCO name along with the nuance of it’s meaning and significance. You can watch that interview at this link:

Cliff Levin Interview – New OHCO Massage Chair Brand

(If you are interested, you can read the Press Release from FFL announcing the name change, which I have placed at the end of this article.)

Inada Therapina Robo massage chair
Inada Therapina Robo

As a result of the inception of this new line of chairs, FFL then surrendered the US distributorship for the Inada massage chairs. That leads me to the next part of this article. Osaki Titan has formally entered into an agreement with Family Inada of Japan to become their new US distributor of the Inada massage chair line. Chairs should be available next month (“mid-December”) for purchase. So far, two models have been announced – the familiar Inada DreamWave and the new Inada Therapina Robo, which is a chair that was introduced to us at CES last January in Las Vegas. I saw the chair for the first time and video taped it. I didn’t sit in it at CES because the line was pretty long. You can watch that video here (the footage of the Therapina begins at the 16:24 point of the recording):

Inada Therapina Robo CES Footage

As you can tell from the image above, the look of the Therapina has changed a bit since my CES footage last January. We look forward to familiarizing ourselves with the new Therapina Robo once it is available and hope to floor it in at least one of our showrooms. Once we do, you know that we’ll be talking about it in this blog and on our YouTube channel.

Dr. Alan Weidner

PRESS RELEASE: Say Hello to OHCO: The New Brand Name for the Best Luxury Massage Chairs in the World

BOULDER, Colo.Oct. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — FFL Brands proudly announces a new name and brand identity for its Ken Okuyama-designed massage chair lineup. The M.8LE, M.8 and new R.6 are the world’s most meticulously designed and technologically advanced full-body shiatsu massage chairs, and will be marketed under the new OHCO brand effective immediately in the USA. OHCO branding will be gradually rolled out in other countries around the world in the coming months.

Visually, the new logo is designed to invoke feelings of tranquility, calmness and peace. The typography epitomizes fluidity, and the deliberate placement of the letter “O” at the beginning and end of the word symbolizes flow, timelessness and abiding wellness. The logo also speaks to the company’s ties to the ancient Eastern traditions and sensibilities that are built into all OHCO products. Practically, the OHCO name is also easily and consistently pronounced in all countries and all languages.

“We are excited to unveil OHCO, an elegant brand name that will come to represent the many ways we bring preeminent design and proprietary innovations and functions to the massage chair market,” said founder and CEO Cliff Levin. “We believe OHCO exemplifies the ultimate balance of strength, elegance and serenity, and we look forward to breathing life into this brand and relaxation into the lives of discerning consumers around the world.”

The business provides the world’s most luxurious and meticulously crafted massage chairs that promote enduring comfort, happiness and peace. OHCO’s goal is to continue to raise the bar for massage chair standards by developing beautifully designed, life-changing products that cater to the complete needs of the mind and body.

DreamWave, Sogno, & Inada – What’s Going On?

DreamWave M.8 massage chair
DreamWave M.8 massage chair

DreamWave M.8
DreamWave M.8 Massage Chair

The new DreamWave M.8 line of massage chairs hit the market in January with a bang at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. The DreamWave M.8 model has very quickly become one of our top selling models. I’d like to explain the new DreamWave line up as it exists today to help you keep everything straight with the new product introductions. Plus, this article will also clarify the “relationship” of the new DreamWave name and the Inada name.

DreamWave Classic
DreamWave Classic Massage Chair

A History Lesson

Let me take you through some of the history of Family Inada, Inada USA, up to the present DreamWave brand. Back in 2006, Family Inada began a relationship with Cliff Levin to become the sole distributor for their chairs in the USA. Thus began Inada USA with Cliff Levin as it’s president. Two short years later Family Inada & Inada USA introduced the iconic Inada Sogno massage chair to the US market. One of the many unique features of that industry-changing model was the figure-8, side-to-side/up-and-down seat movement which Inada described as “Dreamwave technology.” Eventually, the chair was upgraded in 2015 and Inada USA simply named it Inada DreamWave (in part because folks had trouble pronouncing and spelling the word “Sogno”). Today that chair is still built in Japan by Family Inada and is now known as the DreamWave Classic.

The DreamWave Name

The term “DreamWave” is the brainchild of Cliff Levin. He suggested to Inada that they trademark/register the term DreamWave when that name was originally applied to the Inada Sogno model. Inada declined to follow that recommendation, so Cliff officially registered the trademark in the USA and in many other countries around the world.

He has since owned that name although it has heretofore been closely associated with Family Inada because of the popularity of the DreamWave Classic that was built my Inada.

The DreamWave M Series

Mr. Levin used his trademarked term, “DreamWave”, as the cornerstone of an entirely new line of chairs, centered around the M Series, which, as I mentioned above, was formally introduced at CES in January of this year. The M Series are models that he and his company have been developing and working on for over 2 years. It employs features commonly sought after by the US consumer, but that were never employed by Family Inada (or, might I add, by any Japanese chair maker), like foot and calf rollers, zero gravity positioning, BlueTooth connectivity, and an L-track roller technology.

Currently, there are two models in the M Series: The M.8 and the M.8LE, the LE being a limited edition of the M.8, including genuine leather exterior upholstery and a luxurious suede interior.

Even though they are made in Japan, the DreamWave brand and it’s associated M Series models have nothing to do with the Family Inada factory.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful in explaining the evolution of the DreamWave brand.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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#dreamwavem8 #m8

Massage Chairs for Businesses – Any Warranty Coverage?

Miami Skyline
Miami Skyline

Standard Residential Warranty Coverage

The vast majority of our customers purchase a chair for use in their home. The warranties for residential use are pretty standard across the board. For example, most Chinese-made chairs have a 1 year parts & labor warranty with a 2nd year of parts coverage and a 3rd year of structural/frame coverage (aka 1/2/3 limited warranty). Most of the Japanese and American made chairs have a 3 year parts & labor warranty, commonly accompanied by an additional 2 years of parts. One company (Synca) actually offers a standard 5 year parts & labor warranty and some Chinese-made chairs (i.e. Novo XT2 and all Infinity massage chairs) have a 1/3/5 limited warranty. Of course, pretty much all companies offer 1 or more extended warranty options to bring total coverage up to 3 or 5 years of parts and labor coverage. Confused? Well, that was the easy part!

Commercial/Business Warranty Coverage

When it comes to warranty coverage for a chair being used in a commercial environment (business setting), the warranties are all over the map! This article will lay out for you the coverage you can expect from each of the major brands we carry. This is very important to know if you are looking to get a chair for your commercial business that will be used by multiple employees. Most massage chair companies understand if you are using it in your office for personal use, but these warranties are for situations where the user traffic is going to be higher.

  1. Infinity – 1 year of parts and labor coverage
  2. Luraco – 6 months of parts and labor coverage, 6 more months of parts only coverage.
  3. Osaki Titan – For commercial use, coverage is limited to up to 2 service visits over the life of the chair and 3 years parts coverage from the date of purchase.
  4. Health Mate – 1 year parts and labor coverage.
  5. Synca Wellness – Synca makes a full heavy duty commercial version of the JP1100 (called the Kurodo) that has a 2 year parts and labor coverage. You can also get an optional 3rd year of parts & labor coverage for an additional $250 (for non-wear and tear components). The JP1100 is built for light commercial and it’s coverage drops down from 5 years to 2 years parts & labor (still pretty dang good!). Synca does not recommend the Kagra or the CirC for full commercial use.
  6. Inner Balance – The Jin model will retain it’s regular warranty, which is 1 year parts & labor,  2 years parts, and 5 years frame . None of the Synca and Inner Balance models are approved for malls or airports.
  7. Inada, Panasonic, DreamWave, Positive Posture – The commercial warranty is $200 per year for up to 3 years of parts & labor coverage.
  8. Ogawa, Fujimedic, Cozzia – 6 months of full parts & labor coverage. You can also purchase up to 3 additional years of parts & labor coverage for $200/year.
  9. Human Touch – The following models have 1/3/5 year limited warranty coverage for commercial use: Novo XT2, Bali, Sana, all AccuTouch models, ZeroG 4.0/5.0/5.1. Their remaining models have a 1/2/3 year limited warranty for commercial use.
  10. uKnead – For light commercial use the standard factory warranty applies. That’s 1 year parts & labor and 2 more years of parts only. Structural/frame coverage is 5 years.

Well, that just about does it for the “factory” warranties for each of the brands we carry. I should also mention just a few more important things about this topic:

a. All these commercial warranties have “in-home” repairs, just like their residential counterparts. No need to send off the chair(s) to get fixed.

Massage Chairs for Businesses - Any Warranty Coverage? - lifetime labor warranty mcr 254x300 1b. Our very own Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty does not cover chairs used in a commercial setting.

c. In lieu of our Peace of Mind Lifetime Labor Warranty, we offer a parts & labor commercial warranty for $200/year. This can be purchased for as many as years as desired and is typically billed annually.

If you have any questions about any of these warranties, please feel free to reach out.

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.

Massage Chair Relief on the Road!

Inada Worlds Best Massage Chairs
Inada Worlds Best Massage Chairs

Last week was quite eventful for me as I spent Tuesday with the folks at Furniture For Life (the parent company of Inada USA, Panasonic, and Positive Posture massage chairs) and then Thursday night driving from Salt Lake City to Cerritos, California to deliver 4 chairs to a customer.

I try to visit my suppliers from time to time, but I hadn’t been to Inada USA’s new showroom at their Boulder, CO headquarters. The last time I was there, it was just a showroom for Inada USA, but company president, Cliff Levin, has been very busy developing his business model which resulted in the formation of a parent company, Furniture for Life (FFL). That business model includes Inada USA, becoming the sole distributor for Panasonic massage chairs in the USA, and a new line of massage chairs under the name of Positive Posture…all under the FFL corporate umbrella.

There are lots of things brewing at FFL. I got to spend some quality time with Cliff, Michael Long, and Ian Hayes, the folks directly involved in growing the massage chair end of their business. They have some wonderful plans in the making, including some new chair prototypes that will be revealed at CES in Las Vegas next January. I can’t say much more than that, but there will be some exciting news coming from FFL in January. I hope to do a video interview with Cliff sometime soon to chit chat more about it.

Here is a brief video of my visit to the FFL headquarters.

After returning home on Wednesday morning, we learned that 4 chairs we had ordered for a medical clinic in the Los Angeles area had been mistakenly shipped to our Utah showroom instead of our California showroom. The chairs needed to be in LA by Friday so that our delivery guy, Domenic, could set them up at the clinic. You see, the clinic was having a grand opening on Saturday and those chairs were an integral part of the festivities.

There was no way we could reroute the chairs to be in LA by Friday, so I ended up renting a delivery truck, loading up the 4 chairs here in Utah and then setting off for Southern California with my son, Rob, as the co-pilot. We left at 9:45 pm on Thursday night and arrived at my showroom at 8:00 am the next morning. Needless to say our sleep and diet habits for the night were miserable. But, we handed off the chairs to Domenic and he delivered the chairs on time for the Grand Opening! My son and I both flew home Friday to culminate what I would say was the longest 24 hours of my life! You can see a few pics of the adventure on our Facebook page.

 

CES and Massage Chairs – 2018

CES 2018
CES 2018

I once again had the pleasure of attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week to check up on the latest massage chairs. Although there was really only one new model from our list of suppliers on display this year, it was still a blast to be there and feel the energy of the show. CES is a major event in the electronics world and it is packed with people, wall to wall, in every venue.

The weather was delightful, as it usually is in Las Vegas at this time of year, but inside is where the adventure was. I had the opportunity of touching bases with some old friends from Inada, Panasonic, and Luraco. It is always wonderful to reacquaint with colleagues from these great companies.

Panasonic, now under the quality umbrella of Furniture For Life (along with Inada, Positive Posture, and Varier), introduced the new MAJ7. This is the first Japanese designed/engineered massage chair that has foot rollers! I enjoyed the chair quite a bit…and the foot rollers were formidable. It looks an awful lot like the MA73/MA70, but it feels a bit bulkier and more padded. It felt very “cushy” when I first sat in it. It also preserves some of the well-liked features of the MA73, i.e. innovative arm airbag massage, heated rollers, and great segmental stretching programs. It also adds a “Core” auto program and the ability to adjust the intensity of airbags independent of each other (most other chairs only allow a gross, systemic change of air pressure to all airbags). I also found the roller massage to feel more vigorous and deeper than that of it’s predecessors.

The ottoman cannot be rotated to hide the calf and foot wells. Other than that, the chair is pretty similar to the MA73. No surprises. It comes in 3 colors: black, brown, and beige. It will be on our website in the next week or so and will be priced at $9995.

Infinity had two booths but only had their Riage X3 model at both booths. Human Touch had a small 10 x 10 booth that only displayed the Novo XT, which is a great chair to display if it is the only one you’re showing. Inada displayed their DreamWave flagship model, while Luraco brought all their models, including the newly released 3D L-track Legend model, the flagship iRobotics 7, and “Sofy”, their offering for a coin operated chair and home theater chair.

Positive Posture had their upgraded Brio. They have made some subtle programming changes to the original Brio after input from our staff. Originally they had the chair set up so that the intensity of the airbags and the depth of the 3D rollers were linked to the same intensity adjustment button. They have separated those functions. Also, originally the user could not turn on the rollers independent of the airbags in the manual settings. That has been fixed as well.

Here is the the video from my CES visit…