“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.
To learn more:
- Unclear yet if it works, but here comes Thync–the first mainstream, consumer-focused brain stimulation device
- Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as depression treatment: much promise, some DIY risks
- 10 Neurotechnologies About to Transform Brain Enhancement and Brain Health