Thync: Sillicon Valley’s strangest product in years


BIM exams are coming up, you’ve got a whole lot of work to catch up with but you are in so much stress, that you cannot seem to focus. Wouldn’t it be great to have a device that can make you feel more relaxed or more energized, or both at the same time? A device with which you can control your state of mind?

This must sound too good to be true, and you probably wouldn’t take anyone serious who would ask you to invest money in a company that claims to produce such devices. You might want to reconsider. In fact, such a company does exist, named Thync, and they already managed to attract investments of 13 million euros. (Tech Crunch, 2014)

Thync is developing miniature Bluetooth-enabled neurosignaling devices that will be available for consumers next year. The founders actually started the company with the idea of applying ultrasound techniques until they learned about an air-force base in the U.S. that used electrical stimulation in order to increase the cognitive ability of its pilots. The technique makes use of small doses of electrical stimulation that target nerves that carry signals to the brain. This technique, known as transcranial direct-current stimulation, has been applied before to help children with learning disabilities or people with continuos headaches. However, never before has it been marketed as a device that can be used at home to control or at least influence ones state of mind. They even developed an application for smartphones with which you can alter the strength of the signals. (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014)

headset_2-e1404163376463

This is what Thync’s final product is expected to look like (Tech Crunch, 2014)

Thync has already successfully tested the technique on 2000 people during clinical trials; two out of three people eventually experienced ‘a moderate to strong response’. According to the CEO of think, Isy Goldwasser, the device can become a substitute for other drugs that change your state of mind such as alcohol and coffee. I believe that this product can become a success, but doubt whether it is really going to replace habits such as drinking coffee and alcohol.

What do you think?

Sources:

Bloomberg Businessweek. (2014, 10 08). Thync Lets You Give Your Mind a Jolt. Opgeroepen op 10 10, 2014, van http://www.businessweek.com: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-08/thync-raises-13-million-for-its-brain-stimulating-electrodes

Tech Crunch. (2014, 10 08). Thync Has Raised $13M To Change Your Mood With Ultrasound Waves (And Electricity). Opgeroepen op 10 11, 2014, van http://www.techcrunch.com: http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/08/thync-has-raised-13m-to-change-your-mood-with-ultrasound-waves-and-electricity/

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One response to “Thync: Sillicon Valley’s strangest product in years”

  1. g18daniel says :

    I think the technology thync is using sounds at the same time intriguing and questionable.

    The fact that the U.S. airforce is already using such a technique in order to enhance the cognitive abilities of its pilots makes this topic interesting. It seems the technology could actually work and is not just a fantasy. As you mentioned before, switching the state of your mind and adapting it to the situation that you find yourself in, is a notion that possibly every student encountered once in a while.

    However, I ask myself whether a technology like this is NOT a technological step forward, but a step backward for humanity. It may sound like a dystopian fiction, but picture this: In the future more and better versions of these technologies could evolve such that it may become common for people to use thync-like devices to control their emotions and minds – the human being would become more and more mechanical and technological. The emotional irrationality, which actually makes us human, would diminish.

    Even if this is a highly dramatized imagination and it is natural to utilize technology in order to make up for our human imperfections, I think we should always question technologies which interfere with the human brain and mind.

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