Human Touch Super Novo massage chair

Overview:

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.

Concierge 855-794-5660

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 2 arms 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 get's 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.

 

So: After delivery and setup, 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, 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.

Normal

Cloud

4d

Manual

 

Fine tuning your massage:

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

Heat:

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

Height:

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.

Intensity:

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

 

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. I am still exploring the capabilities of the Novo skill, so will fill in more, and list the commands.

First I will outline the sequences to do this, and just figured out something that the Human Touch people could not.

 

first you need an Alexa, I chose a 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 then you need to get the virtual therapist "link", which is a small module that plugs into the wall

The way this works is that the Alexa compatibility is NOT built into the chair... wow, for a $10,000 chair? anyway...

So the way it works is Alexa talks to the VT gadget, by wifi, and then the VT gadget talks to the 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, no one knows.

Preparation:

Request the VT bridge (the gadget)

https://www.humantouch.com/virtualtherapist/bridge

Now you set up a VT account.

https://humantouch.com/virtualtherapist

here is a vido 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 gadget. (Mine came in less than a week, Fed Ex.)

Set up Alexa:

Now you can install the skill to Alexa, you are taken to the google site

(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 VT gadget

When you receive your Virtual Therapist link gadget, you plug it in.

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 gadget, but the VT gadget is 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 wi-fi, 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 Gadget. 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 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 10.0.0.5. So after connecting I opened a browser (firefox on my android) and put in 10.0.0.5 and I got the setup screen. (So far HT is clueless about this)

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

 Overview, it is pretty lame, but hard to separate lameness of the skill from Alexa reliability (very low)

 

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 launch it again, and it blabs for a while as usual, very irritating

 

After starting the skill, you need to say "Alexa, ask my Novo ...."

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

 

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, change it, or have a second user.

After the procedure above is done, you can say: Alexa, ask my Novo to give me a massage

 

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

 

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 often just stops, and then you have to turn the chair back on to get back vertical and backwards

 

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"

 

alexa, tell my novo it's greg

 

start recovery / etc.

alexa, ask my novo for help

ask my novo to relieve back pain

 

800.355.2762

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/HumanTouch1

 

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