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Too early? Brain stimulation device Thync fails to get traction in the minds of consumers

thync-vibes-wellnessHow Thync, Start­up Behind Brain-Zap­ping Gad­get, Almost Died (Bloomberg):

In 2014, Sil­i­con Val­ley start­up Thync had sold tech­nol­o­gy enthu­si­asts and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists on the idea of strap­ping a device to your fore­head that sends elec­tric shocks to the brain. The wear­able gad­get gar­nered atten­tion for its futur­is­tic promis­es of brain stim­u­la­tion, pur­port­ing to deliv­er an instant calm­ing or ener­giz­ing boost through a zap to the head.

But the last six months have cre­at­ed major headaches for the start­up. Thync strug­gled to raise mon­ey, cut almost all of its staff…By March, with a staff of about 10, Thync put all of its assets, includ­ing equip­ment, prod­uct inven­to­ry, and patents for its elec­tri­cal and ultra­sound brain-stim­u­la­tion tech­niques, up for auc­tion…

Jamie Tyler, who found­ed Thync with Gold­wass­er and served as chief sci­en­tif­ic offi­cer, was among those dis­missed in March. He became a full-time pro­fes­sor at Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty, where he had been con­duct­ing research dur­ing his spare time at Thync. Tyler said he want­ed to con­tin­ue his work on the sci­ence behind neu­ro­mod­u­la­tion, which didn’t fit with a con­sumer-prod­uct com­pa­ny. “Work­ing on that fringe can be a chal­lenge that is typ­i­cal­ly bet­ter suit­ed in an aca­d­e­m­ic lab or in anoth­er enti­ty with a dif­fer­ent busi­ness mod­el and longer R&D out­look,” Tyler wrote in an e-mail.

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

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