Massage-chair-or-Iron-Man-armor
Shown above is Phantom Robo, the massage chair of Bodyfriend. It looks like the Iron Man armor of the U.S. movies. Photo courtesy of Bodyfriend

South Korean firm launches new-concept product

South Korea’s massage chair company Bodyfriend introduced a product this week, which looks just like the Iron Man armor in the famous U.S. movies.

The product, called Phantom Rovo, has separate components for each leg, thus enabling the machine to move and massage each leg separately.

The company noted that the new product had a design keyword of “wearing a suit,” because users are required to wear their left and right feet in order.

Earlier this year, Bodyfriend unveiled the product during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And it has commercially launched it this month.

Phantom Rovo is also equipped with massage balls, which the firm said are ergonomically optimized for strength and massage range.

The company added that a heating device is also placed inside the massage balls to create the feeling of being massaged with warm hands.

Bodyfriend Vice Chairman Ji Sung-gyu said that Bodyfriend came up with a totally different approach to massage technologies in developing Phantom Rovo.

Hence, it applied for 19 patents in South Korea for the so-called “Rovo Walking Technology,” and already got four from the country, according to Ji.

“Beginning with Phantom Rovo, the massage chair will collect various biometric information of users to offer customized healthcare services,” Ji told a press conference.

“We hope that Phantom Rovo will become the representative massage chair in the global market. The new product would open up a new era of digital healthcare,” he said.

Toward that end, Bodyfriend plans to spend 100 billion won ($77 million) in research and development over the next five years, up from around 80 billion won spent during the past half-decade.

According to Frost & Sullivan, Bodyfriend has been the global leader in the massage chair business since 2017. Its sales amounted to 591.3 billion won ($453 million) last year, up 6.4 percent from 2020.

Its 2021 operating profit was 68.5 billion won, up 31.2 percent year-on-year.