Most “new” products we see are really just minor evolutions of gadgets that have been around for years. But here’s one that’s completely unlike anything we’ve used before. Meet Thync, a wearable that zaps your brain to change your mood – like a drug that replaces chemicals with technology.
Before we jump in, keep in mind that, though we cover plenty of science at Gizmag, Thync is a consumer product. And that’s exactly how we’re reviewing it – much like we would a new iPhone or laptop. We share our experience and make our recommendations, but we aren’t writing any research papers or conducting any double-blind studies on it (though the company does link to some of those on its website).
After using Thync every day for the last week and a half, I’m convinced that it’s one of the most exciting new tech products of 2015. Like taking a hit of Mary Jane, it can push me from an anxious, over-thinking mood to one where I’m cool, collected and laid-back like a THC-infused Rastafarian. And if I’m feeling sluggish or unmotivated, Thync can also peel that layer away, like the sun burning a morning fog off of my consciousness.
The Thync module itself is a curved white gizmo that connects wirelessly to a smartphone via Bluetooth low-energy. You start by snapping one of two different strips to the device. Each strip has two adhesive pads on it; they each attach to different points on your head (it sounds complicated, but the Thync app has a setup video that makes all of this easy and clear).
After you power on the module and pair it with your mobile device, it starts a five or 10 minute session that sends low-level pulses of electricity into your head (sounds freaky, I know, but bear with us for a minute). The two pads on the strip join with your body to form a current, the strength of which you can adjust in the app.
The electrical current activates pathways in your brain that make you feel either calm or energized. Like meditation or drugs, this enhances your mood in ways that you might have trouble getting to on your own.
The key is the locations of the pads: Thync believes it’s found the right target areas to tweak your brain’s natural stress responses in one direction or the other. One strip is designed to produce a calming effect (“calm vibe”) while the other strip makes you feel more alert (“energy vibe”). And each “vibe” also has three sub-categories within it, varying in intensity and length of time.
It’s like choosing a workout program, only instead of doing squats or lunges, the technology does the work for you. You just sit there and enjoy the results.
The Latest on: Electronic mood modification
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The Latest on: Electronic mood modification
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