Ergonomic chairs are a must-have for gamers, and the latest from massage equipment specialist Osim – the uThrone – takes it to the next level.
Osim Malaysia general manager Chia Sook Fun said the uThrone is the first gaming-massage chair, and it’s the company’s response to the evolving needs of its customers and the growing e-sports community.
When designing the chair, Osim commissioned research specialist Ipsos to survey gamers to find out exactly what they wanted.
The survey of some 400 people found that 60% of respondents experienced physical discomfort – especially shoulder and back pains – from extended periods of gaming, while 88% said they would be able to perform better when ache-free.
“We noticed that chronic aches and pains have become an issue for younger and younger individuals over the last few years due to prolonged periods of sitting at their desks for work or entertainment purposes,” said Chia.
She added that good posture and stress relief have become even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people are working, as well as seeking entertainment and social interaction from home.
“The uThrone being the first of its kind for the market, seeks to address these exact issues through our time-tested massage technologies, and encourage users to take charge of their stress levels and well-being even as they work or play,” she said.
She highlighted that Osim’s proprietary V-Hand massage technology and 360° massage rollers emulate a masseuse’s skilful techniques to undo deep-seated knots around the neck and shoulders.
In addition to manual control for DIY massages, the chair has several specialised programmes, including an energising massage that relieves stress; neck and shoulder massage which kneads the muscles to relieve pain; and a lower back programme to help tensed backs.
The programmes are controllable using a concealed control panel on the right armrest, which minimises wires and accidental touches, and gives the uThrone a sleek and stylish look.
Another feature for gamers – stereo Bluetooth speakers embedded in the headrest – delivers immersive audio.
The chair can also be adjusted to lean back at an angle of up to 145° for a better rest.
Ensuring the uThrone holds up to the rigours of use, Osim has had its various components certified, with the upholstery passing the Japanese Boken quality test and the hydraulics passing British quality-assurance company Intertek’s standards.
Putting the uThrone to the test was Osim ambassador JJ Lin, whose e-sports team used the massage chair at their training facilities.
The mandopop superstar, who now “performs” in the gaming scene, founded multinational e-sports squad, Team Still Moving Under Gunfire (Team SMG), back in 2017.
“Osim has been very supportive towards not just me, but also Team SMG. Even before this collaboration, my family and I were already familiar with Osim products, and I am sure we will have more exciting projects in the coming future,” he said.
The uThrone chair – emblazoned with Team SMG’s colours of orange and black – fits the team’s goal of providing better facilities and support to its athletes, which includes sports psychologists, coaches and career development plans.
The team – which now operates out of Malaysia, China and Singapore – has been planning to establish a bigger presence in South-East Asia since last year.
Unfortunately, most plans had to be shelved due to the pandemic, though the team was victorious in several PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Valorant tournaments.
Mohamad Nazeri Shahrin Affan, of SMG’s PUBG squad, said being captain meant having to face stress both physically and mentally when leading the team.
“But I don’t necessarily have to shoulder the responsibility alone all the time, as my teammates always help out by giving me information and suggestions regarding our next move,” he said, adding that a positive mental attitude helps him cope.
Meanwhile, Joshua Fok with SMG’s Valorant team, shared that the pandemic has made working from home an everyday reality for him.
Though the new environment hasn’t made it easy to balance between a business degree and e-sports, he has managed to carve out time for game practice.
The uThrone chair is available through Osim’s website for RM2,799, discounted from the original price of RM4,899, in orange-black, as well as two other striking colours.