Thync-ing About Wearables

October 15, 2014

Blog | Culture | Thync-ing About Wearables
Thync-ing About Wearables

Silicon Valley start-up Thync made headlines around the globe after announcing it had raised $13 million in funding from investors, including risk enthusiasts, Khosla Ventures. Working to marry neuroscience and wearable tech, the founders plan to go to market next fall with a product that will allow consumers to “shift and optimize” their states of mind.

According to their trademark application, Thync is an “ultrasonic device not intended for medical purposes,” that also happens to be a “medical apparatus.” It may (or may not) affect and alter mental and physiological processes… be used in the treatment of a variety of illnesses and disorders… or assist in the monitoring, recording, and tracking of brain waves. 

Using Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation, (or tDCS), Thync aims to either relax or energize the wearer.  While this may recall the infamous days of electroshock, it’s dissimilar in voltage, precision, and outcome.  I.E., it doesn’t jolt the whole of the brain to trigger seizures. Founders Isy Goldwasser and Jamie Tyler are hoping it will serve as an alternative to caffeine and alcohol, or possibly, with further development, psychopharmaceuticals.

Now in testing, Thync Boston is actively recruiting test subjects for noninvasive brain stimulation, biometric assessment, and computerized surveys.  Participants will receive $50 for their time, and must be at least 18 years old. Like most everything, there are exclusions. Panic attack sufferers, those undergoing neurological or psychological treatment, pregnant women, and a small catalog of others are not eligible to participate.

While the Tech Hype Cycle reports that wearables are steadily slipping into the “trough of disillusionment,” analysts project the market to top $30 billion by 2018. With only one other known competitor (Emotiv), Thync seems to be primed for an energizing ride at the crossroads of software, hardware, and biometrics.

Heather Waters

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