13 November 2014

Smartphone Device Delivers Change of Mood

Neuroscientists and Consumer Electronics experts from MIT, Harvard, and Stanford University are working together to create a nerve-stimulating smartphone that can energize your body the same effects with Red Bull.
Next year, you can buy this device that uses electricity to change or stimulate your mood with a single press of a button on your smartphone.

BioTechnology Startup

A biotechnology research startup, Thync, build a device consists of set electrodes connected plug into a smartphone that is placed either neck or back of the ear. Thync recently announced $13 million in venture capital from investors such as Khosla Ventures to bring the first products to market.

Additionally, Marom Bikson, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York, recently used Thync's prototype 100-person study. Bikson concludes that his study showed that the device has a calming effect though results varied. 

In separate work, he is developing technology that uses ultrasound to affect the brain directly without surgery or drugs.
Smartphone Device Delivers Change of Mood
Image: Thync
Although it has a short-span of effect, still it can help people to lighten up their stressful days. 

How does it work?
Once it turns on, the device will send and deliver gentle electrical currents to the nerves and muscle. The device will carry currents with different feelings depending on where it place the electrodes.

The neuroscientists and startup members said that if it is set either your temple or back of your neck, you will feel a calm, relaxing feeling (I think I am relaxed now).

Researchers also stated that those peaceful, relaxing atmospheres are far more similar feel with after-effects of drinking beers — slightly sleepy feeling too.

Further, they advised that if users would want to wake up, they can place the electrodes behind their ears.

With that, they will certainly feel short of energy flowing up their nerves. This stimulation that devices use is called Transcranial Direct Stimulation (TDCS) which delivers low-level of electrical currents directly to a particular area of the brain via small electrodes. Initially, use to help patients with brain injuries but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a particular disease.

Based on experiments, tDCS increases cognitive performance on test with healthy adults. The team at Arizona State University, led by a neuroscientist, Jamie Tyler, figured on how to target specific nerves and muscles externally through the skin.

Reviews
In an MIT Technology review, Kevin Bullies tried and felt being relaxed.
"When I tried it, I felt relaxed but also clear-headed - more as if I’d meditated or received a good massage than had a couple of drinks. The effect took a few minutes to kick in, but then it lasted for about 45 minutes - although I’m told that varies from person to person.”
Interestingly, Brad Stone, journalist of Bloomberg Businessweek, also got a review of the device. At 12 minutes usage, he felt calm vibe set.

Do you want it? It’s expected to be on sale by early next year.


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