Goodbye energy drink, hello Thync. Mood-changing wearable helps you boost (or calm) your brain in minutes
Energy drinks have a new competitor to the 3:00 p.m. brain fog.
Thync, a mood-enhancing wearable, hit the consumer market today after coming out of stealthmode. The device uses a method of neurosignaling or low levels of pulsed electrical energy, to modify ones’ mood by stimulating certain parts of the brain.
The device is a lightweight, portable, 2D, curved device that is placed on your forehead and snap into Thync Strips that either curve behind your ear or to the back of your neck to deliver a comfortable experience.
Through Bluetooth, the device pairs with a mobile iOS application, where the user can choose two modalities, calm or energy, and the length of the Vibe session (5, 10 or 20 minutes), as well as adjust the strength of the pulse electrical energy to achieve desired effect.
Users of Thync describe the effects similar to a shot of espresso for the “energy” and a glass of wine for “chill” mode.
During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, I had a chance to demo the neurowearable and caught up to the co-founders Isy Goldwasser and Jamie Tyler for their debut.
“It’s really a sleek, beautiful, consumer product. We were able to make so much progress on the manufacturing that we were able to introduce the product at a successful level,” Goldwasser said.
As for any change in the brain wave technology, Tyler said while they will continue to optimize the Vibes, the “neurosignaling remains the same and the algorithm is locked down.”
The company also added different lengths for calm or energy Vibe sessions. Users can engage in a quick five-minute session, and if need be, expand up to 20 minutes without starting a new session.
“There will be a short calm vibe to take the edge off or if you find yourself getting stressed, then you can use the five minutes to chill out,” Tyler said.
The mobile user experience has also been improved. Goldwasser said once the device is paired with ones’ smartphone, the app will auto login, pair and identify the Vibe selection based on the Thync Strip attached.
Thync recently completed a lengthy six month study on the benefits of neurosignaling to reduce the brain’s response to stress and improve sleep. Their team of neuroscientists and engineers tested volunteers who sampled the device in real-world scenarios to discover the effectiveness of Thync.
“We ran a cohort of students during finals week,” Tyler said. “Some students would use the calm vibe to be able to get some rest.” They also tested people who become anxious before speaking in public or prior to a first date.
Results showed that 97 percent of the subjects stated a calming effect when using Thync.
In the sleep portion of the study, subjects who used Thync for the longer calm Vibe sessions in the evening reported improved sleep and a positive mood the following day, Tyler said.
If you’re wondering how long the Thync effects will last, Tyler said subjects “typically felt effects of the Vibes an hour after the session with carry-over impacts lasting several hours. [More importantly,] it set the tone for the remainder of their day.”
At the core, these neuroscience co-founders strive to help people reduce stress during their day-to-day life through a chemical-free and safe method.
“Optimizing brain health by reducing stress and helping people get better with rest and recovery are the best things to do for anyone,” Tyler said. “We are excited to be bringing the first product in the next generation of wearables to market.”
“The most fascinating thing is seeing basic science impact everyday life – that’s a journey Jamie and I took together to build a company and really see it happening,” Goldwasser said.
Tyler, an Associate Professor at Arizona State University in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, plans to continue researching the benefits of neurosignaling at ASU.
“I am thrilled that Thync is commercializing some basic research ideas that began in my neuroscience laboratory at ASU,” Tyler said. “I am equally excited about the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at ASU that President Crow and his administration have worked hard to create. They really embrace and empower professors to conduct high-risk research and then take those ideas into the real world to yield impacts. That is why I remain an associate professor there – because I am so impressed with the quality of research that my engineering and neuroscience colleagues are conducting, as well as the impact that those technologies will have on the world.”
The product will be on limited release with a complete release in fall and sell for $299. The Android version is planned for the end of 2015. Pre-order your device here.
Graphics courtesy of Thync