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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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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