Marom Bikson, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York, recently used a prototype of Thync’s device in a 100-person study (funded by the company) that focused on its calming effects. Bikson says the study showed “with a high degree of confidence” that the device has an effect, although the results varied. “For some people—not everyone—the effect is really profound,” he says. “Within minutes, they’re feeling significantly different in a way that is as powerful as anything else I could imagine short of a narcotic.”
The device uses a form of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), something that’s been tested in various forms for years but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a specific disease.
In Thync’s device, a barely perceptible electrical current is applied to the skin on your head at different places for the Red Bull effect and for the relaxing effect.
Most TDCS research focuses on trying to use the electrical current to directly affect the outer part of the brain. Thync found that it was able to create strong effects by instead targeting specific nerves and muscles just beneath the skin.
Tyler’s ambitions extend beyond selling an electronic substitute for coffee. In separate work he is developing technology that uses ultrasound to affect the brain directly without surgery or drugs. “It’s a new frontier, with potential that hasn’t been tapped into yet,” he says.
er ... no
hat tip to Rich