Human Touch Super Novo massage chair


Bought one of these at the 2020 CES show.

There were many different manufacturers there, but besides the knowledgeable people and how it worked in my short evaluation, the company has been around for 40 years, so a warranty means something.

This is a complicated piece of gear, but you can get it running pretty easily.

Important: delivery notes:

This chair is heavy and takes several people to move it. Make sure you have everything cleared away in the route to it's home.

I had a nice group of guys deliver it, and they seemed familiar with the product. They were VERY careful moving it to avoid damage to the chair or my house, top marks there.

I did have an issue though, often the side panels must be removed to get it in tight spots. Each arm has a bunch of air lines and wires that must be disconnected to remove and re-attached to replace. Unfortunately, the design is such that there is very little slack on these lines and once the arm is unbolted (very easy and shown in the instructions) the hoses and wires are NOT long enough to lay the arm on the floor so often (and in my case) something gets pulled out. Well, they got the hoses back on, but plugged the speaker wire in wrong, and thus the speaker on the right side did not function, but I did not discover this until later that day.

Test the chair thoroughly after delivery

First, select a massage, like the standard TENSION RELIEF, get IN the chair and make sure all the air bladders work, there are the ones on the sides of your calves, the backs of your calves, at your hips, your shoulders, and there are 3 in each arm, you fingers, your wrist and your forearm close to the elbow.

Next turn on the heat in the back and legs on high, it takes a while to feel the back but you should feel it down near your hips on both sides.

Lastly, and what would have saved me waiting a month to have repaired, turn on the sound system and ensure you hear sounds from both speakers, best heard when sitting in the chair.

What massage to select?

I'll be detailing the modes and characterizing which massage type, as there are so many it is bewildering.





Fine tuning your massage:

It's too bad that you cannot have individualized settings per person and remember options.


Always defaults to off. You can turn it on from the knob on the left arm, but it only goes to medium (need to check)

I always turn the back on high, it only gets the sides of your lower back.

The leg heat is the other way, even low seems too hot on the lower knee, top of calf. The friction alone gives you heat, I usually leave it off.

Having defaults, and increasing the heat coverage on the back, and lowering the intensity of the legs would be an improvement


Still figuring this out, they give no guidelines, but short, medium, and tall, and 3 divisions within. I set to 8 or 9 and I am 6' 2".... does not seem to be a way to adjust this after the massage starts.


Even soft is strong, and this is a great feature on this chair, you can really crank it up

Start on soft until you get used to it, and different massages may have different levels for you

If it is too strong, put a heavy moving pad in the back of the seat.

You can change the speed of the rollers under your feet.

Change where you get massaged:

Many of the programs have a "combination" mode, and also upper body or lower body.

Also some of the modes do not do your legs.


The phone app:

Kind of no big deal, links by Bluetooth, but it is somewhat flaky (although it might be because I have Alexa, read below)

It basically parrots the wired remote that comes with the chair. I really see no reason for it, it has no additional features over the wired remote.

Enabling Alexa:

Ok, this is pretty much pretty tricky, but pretty cool. The Alexa skill/Novo capabilities are limited and also some commands just do not work, or work correctly, more below. I use it to extend the massage time, since max is only 30 minutes. The other thing I really need is the intensity setting, which does not work right.

First I will outline the sequences to enable Alexa, and honestly the Human Touch people were unable to debug my issue.

Get an Alexa device and set it up

First you need an Alexa device, I would suggest an Alexa Dot, since all I want it to do is turn on the tv in the room and deal with the Novo

So, get the Alexa, and install it.

Get the Virtual Therapist Bridge

Next you need to get the Virtual Therapist Bridge, which is a small module that plugs into the wall, it's actually 2 components:

(Note: Alexa compatibility is NOT built into the chair... wow, for a $10,000 chair? anyway...)

Here's a picture: the smaller gadget is the Bridge, the larger in the rear is a 5v power supply, you just plug the 2 into a wall outlet close by.

20201107 160857

The way it works is Alexa talks to the Virtual Therapist Bridge by WiFi, and then the Virtual Therapist Bridge relays the instructions to the Novo massage chair by Bluetooth.

Note well: there is no feedback from the chair, communication is one way with no confirmation. So when you are debugging, if the chair is not connected to the VT gadget, Alexa has no clue.

So, you need to request the Virtual Therapist Bridge:

Now you set up a VT account:

here is a video walking you through:

(copy and paste, I did not want to embed the link)

You get a 5 digit code that you need to save, you will get an email with that also. This is the code that allows linking the chair to the VT gadget.

Once you have done that, you order (free) the VT Bridge. (Mine came in less than a week, Fed Ex.)

Add the skill to Alexa:

Now you can install the skill to Alexa, you are taken to the google site, usually called the "Human Touch Virtual Therapist"

(skills are additions to Alexa's capabilities, custom code written for the hardware you want to control)

So now you continue and link the skill to your Alexa account. This normally is easy, just be sure you are using the right login.

Add the Virtual Therapist Bridge

When you receive your Virtual Therapist Bridge, you plug it in, keep it relatively close to the Novo.

Now you can discover it with the Alexa app on your phone.

At this point you can ask Alexa to run your Virtual Therapist skill, and ask the chair to do stuff. The chair will do nothing because Alexa is talking to your VT Bridge, but the VT Bridge is not yet not linked to the chair.

Link the VT gadget to the chair

This is where I got stuck. The directions have you do a "wi-fi direct" connection to the VT gadget from your phone. This looks like just connecting to another wi-fi network, and the network is called Virtual Therapist Setup

The password to the network is "wellness"

If you watch the video, after connecting to the wireless, the setup screen pops up automatically. Well, mine did not, and I tried several Android phones. I saw the video was using an iPhone, so hauled out a couple of old iPhones and still no dice.

I could always connect to the WiFi, but nothing else happened. I got with the support people, and they asked all the usual entry level stuff. Then they focused on if I had 5GHz wi-fi and that could be causing an issue. Clearly it cannot at this point, as you are making a single connection to the wi-fi on the VT gadget, but I agreed to turn all 5 GHz off in my house, no difference.

(as an aside, because of many issues, put your Alexa and the rest of the devices it works with on 2.4GHz is a good idea)

OK, so before I hung up with the support person, I asked about the setup screen that is supposed to pop up. I asked if it was from the HT app on the phone, or is it an app that is automatically downloaded from the VT Bridge. They did not know.

So that evening after trying the 5GHz off experiment, I thought a bit, and figured, use Occam's razor, i.e. the simplest solution would not be lighting off the phone app, that could be very tricky, and downloading an app from the VT gadget would take a while and more memory and sophistication. Watching the video, the setup screen came up pretty quick, too fast to download an app the the phone AND normally the phone would stop and ask if OK.

So, I reasoned that the missing "setup screen" was merely a web page from the VT gadget, and was being blocked from automatically coming up, probably because the phone said no internet connection (of course).

I went into the WiFi connection with a couple of tools and looked at the IP address I received, it was IPV4, and 10.0.0.x, and then I looked at the DHCP gateway, and it was ALWAYS So after connecting I opened a browser (Firefox on my android) and put in and I got the setup screen. (This is the part the HT are clueless about, I'm sure they think the app is necessary)

Now you enter the 5 character code you received when creating the VT account, the SSID of your wireless 2.4GHz network, and the wireless password.

Now everything should work, although I often receive messages like Alexa is having trouble with the custom skill, and sometimes you need to issue the command again, but it does work.

Using the Alexa custom skill:


The skill is pretty lame compared to what the chair can do.

You need to pay attention to the exact commands.

If Alexa has problems, just repeat the command, Alexa reliability is pretty low in my opinion

Launch the skill

You must start the skill to use it, say "Alexa launch human touch" - that's the fewest words. Don't use "virtual therapist" or Alexa will try to analyze your health.

quite often you get the idiotic "I'm having trouble..., so you launch it again, and it blabs for a while as usual, very irritating

I have not measured how much inactivity forces you to launch again, surely is it less than one day

Preface all commands:

After starting the skill, you need to say "Alexa, ask my Novo ...." or "Alexa, tell my Novo ..." as the preamble to any command.

This is really dumb since your command to the skill should use the same name as how you launch the skill

First time:

The first time you launch it it will "interview" you as to your name and what kind of massage you want, etc.

A great idea, but most people are not familiar with the chair enough to pick favorites.

I have not found a way to reset this information, or change it.

After the procedure above is done, you settings will be stored, and the most important ones are height and default massage time


You can also ask for help: "Alexa ask my Novo for help"

At this point you get 5 categories for help, Stop, Restore, Time, Intensity, Height.

clearly the command set is ridiculously limited for what you can do with the chair,

it's really not very helpful since stop does not work, intensity does not work, and who changes their height?


The stop and restore functions mirror the stop (stop) and restore (put the chair back upright and move it backwards on the base)

like the chair operating from the remote, restore can stop if you are in 4D mode. If this happens, turn the chair back on to get back vertical and backward


The time function lets you set the massage time, probably the most useful of the voice commands:

"Alexa, ask my novo for xx minutes - where xx is 10, 20, 30 minutes. Very easy way to extend your massage without grabbing the remote.

if you look at the remote, you can see the minutes left update


The intensity function is only "Ask my novo to increase/decrease intensity.

Very lame, I don't think it is working, I need to test more, but changes do not show on the remote, and you should be able to ask for a particular level


The height function works ok, you have to ask in inches, asking for more or less than the limits just gets you to the limit. the max limit is 64"

"Alexa ask my novo height sixty four inches"


The following table is originally from Human Touch, but I have corrected the errors and omissions.


Human Touch® Super Novo Virtual Therapist ™

Alexa Command Script Listing







Alexa, ask MY NOVO to start Virtual

Hello, this is the NOVO Virtual
Therapist. Please tell me what your
name is.

Interview, settings, prescription, style

...   ...   ...

... ... ...




It looks like we're all set. Please
relax and we'll get started. If you
need any help, just say: Alexa, ask MY
NOVO for help.

Closing comment.




Alexa, tell MY NOVO I am [name].

Welcome back [name], what can
NOVO do for you today?

Dialogue Requisite

Tell me my settings.
What are my settings?

OK [name}, here are your personal
settings: Your height is set to [value]
inches. Your massage time is set to
[value] minutes, and your massage
style is set to [value].


Set height to [value] inches.

OK [name] your height is now set to
[value] inches.


Set time to [value] minutes.
(10, 20, 30)

OK [name] setting your time to [value]
minutes. (10, 20, 30)


Take me to the Virtual Therapist.

What would you say is your goal for
today's massage?


Run demo.

OK, just sit back and relax and see
how NOVO can make you feel your

run, start, demo

Energize me.

Starting your Yoga Studio Massage
for more Energy.

run, start, me, help me

Run full body.

Starting your full body experience

run, start, switch to

Help me perform.

OK, sit back and NOVO will prepare
you for better performance.

run, start, help me

Start tension relief.

Starting tension relief now.

run, start

Start upper body.

OK, we'll take care of your upper
body now.

run, start, switch to, help me with my

Run lower body.

OK, let's get to work on your lower
body now.

run, start, switch to, help me with my




Alexa, ask MY NOVO to run
demonstration. (or demo)

OK, just sit back and relax and see
how NOVO can make you feel your

run, start, demo

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to energize me.

Starting your Yoga Studio Massage
for more Energy.

run, start, help me

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to run full body.

Starting your full body experience

run, start, switch to

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to help me

OK, sit back and NOVO will prepare
you for better performance.

run, start, help me

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to start tension

Starting tension relief now.

run, start

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to start upper

OK, we'll take care of your upper
body now.

run, start, help me with my, switch to

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to run lower

OK, let's get to work on your lower
body now.

run, start, help me with my, switch to

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to give me a
Alexa, ask MY NOVO to massage me.
Alexa, ask MY NOVO for a massage.

OK, sit back and relax and I'll start
your [value] massage. If you need any
help during your massage, just say:
Alexa, ask MY NOVO for help.

Runs a randomly selected,
announced, massage

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to take me to the
Virtual Therapist.

What would you say is your goal for
today's massage?

Should go to beginning full interview?




Alexa, ask MY NOVO to set height to

OK, [name]. Your height is now set
to [value] inches.

 still no relation to 9 settings on remote

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to set time to
(10, 20, 30)

OK [name], setting your time to
[value] minutes. (10, 20, 30)


Alexa, ask MY NOVO to increase

Increasing intensity.

 changes to intensity 2

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to decrease

Decreasing intensity.

 changes to intensity 2

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to STOP.

quitting now

nothing happens other than

Alexa, ask MY NOVO to RESTORE.

I hope you enjoyed that NOVO
experience. I'm restoring you to the
upright position.


HELP On The Fly



Alexa, ask MY NOVO for HELP.

Which NOVO function can I help you
with? The options are STOP,
RESTORE, height, time, or intensity





Misc Notes:


alexa, tell my novo it's greg


start recovery / etc.

alexa, ask my novo for help

ask my novo to relieve back pain


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mapping the shoulder height setting to actual height, what do the numbers 2 through 9 mean?


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