Brain-zapping gadgets promise to make you a better you — smarter, stronger, even happier (The Washington Post):
“Americans’ obsession with wellness is fueling a new category of consumer electronics, one that goes far beyond the ubiquitous Fitbits and UP activity wristbands that only passively monitor users’ physical activity. The latest wearable tech, to put it in the simplest terms, is about hacking your brain.
These gadgets claim to be able to make you have more willpower, think more creatively and even jump higher…Lots of people and companies are making investments, too, from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to large pharmaceutical companies and even the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The companies claim the stimuli they utilize are so weak that the products shouldn’t be considered medical devices and subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. To date, the agency hasn’t intervened.
All this has unnerved many neuroscience experts, who worry about putting something that tinkers with the brain in the hands of naive consumer masses…Response from users has been mixed, with about two-thirds of online reviewers writing about how happy they were with the product and about one-third saying they didn’t feel any effects at all.”
To learn more:
- Pros and Cons of latest wearable tech trend: Mood-altering electrical brain stimulation
- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as depression treatment: much promise, some DIY risks
- Infographic & market report: Pervasive Neurotechnology: A Groundbreaking Analysis of 10,000+ Patent Filings Transforming Medicine, Health, Entertainment and Business
- Solving the Brain Fitness Puzzle Is the Key to Self-Empowered Aging