Thync review: A drug-like, brain-zapping wearable?
Gizmag reports: After using Thync every day for the last week and a half, I'm convinced that it's one of the most exciting new tech products. It can push me from an anxious, over-thinking mood to one where I'm cool, collected and laid-back like a THC-infused Rastafarian. And if I'm feeling unmotivated, Thync can also peel that away.
The Thync module itself is a curved white gizmo that connects wirelessly to a smartphone via Bluetooth low-energy. You start by snapping one of two different strips to the device. Each strip has two adhesive pads on it; they each attach to different points on your head (it sounds complicated, but the Thync app has a setup video that makes all of this easy and clear).
After you power on the module and pair it with your mobile device, it starts a five or 10 minute session that sends low-level pulses of electricity into your head (sounds freaky, I know, but bear with us for a minute). The two pads on the strip join with your body to form a current, the strength of which you can adjust in the app.
The electrical current activates pathways in your brain that make you feel either calm or energized. Like meditation or drugs, this enhances your mood in ways that you might have trouble getting to on your own.
The key is the locations of the pads: Thync believes it's found the right target areas to tweak your brain's natural stress responses in one direction or the other. One strip is designed to produce a calming effect ("calm vibe") while the other strip makes you feel more alert ("energy vibe"). And each "vibe" also has three sub-categories within it, varying in intensity and length of time.
If this all sounds pretty far-out, like something from an 80's-era sci-fi novel, we completely understand. But for me, it works exactly as advertised, either relaxing or energizing me (or both), not only while I'm using it, but for several hours afterwards.
Skeptics will also be quick to question whether Thync is just an expensive placebo effect. And while this is only one person's experience and opinion, take it as you will, I don't see how there's any way that's the case with me. If this is a placebo, then all the pot, caffeine and meditation I've ever tried must be as well.
The calm and energy vibes may sound like mutually exclusive opposites, but when using one after the other, I find that the two moods can co-exist. After spending 10 minutes with each mode, I walk out the door feeling both calm and energized, just about the ideal state of mind for going out into the world.
Battery life is fine, though you will probably want to charge the Thync module (it includes a micro-USB cable) after every use: a 30 minute session usually gets its battery level down to below 50 percent.
One potential annoyance is that Thync is iOS-only at launch. If you have an Android phone, you'll need to either wait for that app to launch later this year, or get your hands on a cheap-ish iPad or iPod touch (which needs to be running iOS 8) to use with Thync in the meantime.