Here’s something for the gamer that has everything: a tabletop hand massager that can be used to remove fatigue from your aching mitts and keep you on top form.
Created by Japanese makers of gaming hardware and peripherals, Bauhütte, the device uses 15 heated air cushions to supposedly simulate the feeling of a real massage and, well, why the hell not. Bauhütte recommends you use the massager before gaming to warm up your hands; during breaks to improve circulation; and after you’ve finished to rub the stiffness out 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 hand-holding mode to give you a squeeze of encouragement when you need a boost mid-game.
Matte black everything.
A pro gamer in his natural habitat.
Shiatsu mode works the palm.
Heating mode supposedly boosts circulation.
The device (which we spotted via Kotaku) is a fun little contraption, sure, but not that great of an innovation. You can find dozens of similar items online with a quick search for “electric hand massager,” though Bauhütte has given the thing a stylish matte black makeover to appeal to its target audience. The device pairs well with the company’s other SkyMall-for-gamers contraptions, including a heated mattress and portable foot massager.
Really, though, what terrifies me about this gadget is not what it says about the potential market for gaming-related frippery (every hobby has its trinkets), but the idea that it might one day be compromised in some sort of cyberpunk espionage plot. Imagine a high-stakes esports competition, where one team hacks a rival’s hand massager to break a few fingers before or even during the big game. What machines have given, machines can take away.
The hand massager is apparently only available in Japan right now for around $150, but Amazon does stock a bunch of similar devices if you can feel those cramps coming on strong.