Customize your emotions with a device; coming in 2015
It's not rocket science. It's neuroscience. Thync (pronounced "think") is the rare tech start-up whose ultimate rivals aren't other tech start-ups. Instead, the company's wearable technology is better understood when compared to human mood-enhancers like red wine, energy drinks, coffee or drugs.
What Thync hopes to do, in 10 minutes or less, is create in its users nothing less than a desired state of mind, or mode, ranging from calm to creative to energetic. "We can trigger these modes using neurotransmitters," says CEO and co-founder Isy Goldwasser. It's a big goal that uses a simple headpiece that, in its beta version, is composed of two foam and plastic pads connected by a wire whose power can be controlled with an easy-to-use mobile app.
I recently tested the product along with USA TODAY San Francisco Bureau Chief Jon Swartz. Based on how well it worked on both of us, Thync has the potential to create the most transformative consumer technology to come out of Silicon Valley in a long time. To get there, though, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company will have to come up with a finished product that passes muster with both consumers and regulators.
Toward those ends, Thync is "in dialog" with the Federal Drug Administration while it works out the kinks in its hardware and software, Goldwasser says. The underlying technology is based on more than a decade of research done by Thync co-founder and Chief Science Officer Jamie Tyler of Arizona State University and Thync Executive Director Sumon Pal of Harvard, respectively.
The research has shown that human states of mind create in the brain electrical patterns that are consistent and recognizable. In a process known as neuro-signaling, these patterns can be recreated using tiny electrical pulses.