When it comes to new and innovative technology I like to consider myself an early adopter. I’m willing to try new gadgets and devices even if they are unproven or even bad. For example, I owned all of the different types of the Microsoft Surface device, even when the upgrades were minimal. In the spirit of trying new technology I have decided to try the Thync device.
What is Thync?
Basically, Thync is a wearable device that connects with your smartphone while delivering electrical impulses to your brain. I know, it sounds really creepy. The intended outcome of wearing the device is to alter your mood. Currently, Thync has two moods: calm and energy. When you purchase the “Thync system” you get the following items in the box (for $299):
- Bluetooth module
- 5 Calming Vibes
- 5 Energy Vibes
You also have to download the Thync app (I downloaded it for iOS). I purchased the entire box a few months ago and emailed them to get it earlier (because they were only on pre-orders). Once it came I couldn’t wait to try it. I read that it was built by a team of rock stars with Ph.D.s in everything from neuroscience to biology.
First, I had to get the device connected to my phone via bluetooth. This was a little buggy, but I called Thync support and someone helped me resolve the problem quickly. A+ for customer support on their end. Once the device connected to my smartphone came the weird part. I had to unpack the “Vibes” and stick one on my head. The instructions were precise in terms of where you had to put it. Once the sticky part stuck to your head you could click in the actual device (see cover image, copyright Thync). The app looks like something below:
However, I did notice that it was hard to get it in the perfect spot and sometimes it would unstick.
Once it was connected, I turned the app on and started running the vibe. It was simple enough to start and figure out. The app showed me where I was in the process of the vibe as I ran it for a total of 15 minutes. I ended up trying both the energy and calming vibes with the following results for each.
Energy vibe results
Firstly, I turned the “power” up to 70 on my first time and this was a mistake. The electrical impulses really hit your head hard and you feel a strong tingling sensation. I eventually came to a comfortable medium at around level 60 or 65. It tingled and I kind of just sat there waiting for something to happen.
Interestingly enough, when it cycled towards “peak levels” it caught my attention right away. If I was talking to someone it would “straighten” my focus because of the shocks. After letting it take its course for the recommended time I did feel an energy boost. It didn’t last too long but it definitely woke me up. I felt more alert and it did improve my short-term productivity. The feeling faded after a few hours.
Calming vibe results
After trying this one I felt really mellow and sluggish. This one worked even better than the energy one. I felt like my eyes were heavy and I was ready to take a serious nap in the middle of the day. I can see this one being useful for when you can’t sleep at night and want to try some alternative options.
I also had some fun of letting other people in my office try them. Mostly everyone that tried the energy one reported a slight boost in alertness. So, I can surely say that the product is not a farce and does do what it says it does.
After using it a few times and making sure that I did it correctly, it does work. However, it’s a bit difficult and tedious to set up and is costly in terms of time for what you get out of it. For example, if I have to spend twenty minutes setting it up and running it, why would I only want to get a few hours of energy or calming? I would rather go to the store and buy three red bulls to get more energy. Maybe it’s not the healthiest alternative but many folks are conscious of their time and would rather choose the latter option.
The device is also weird to use around other people as you have to explain what it is. I found myself being the butt of a joke on a few occasions. Jokes aside, I’m happy I tried it.
If I wasn’t an early adopter I would pass on this and wait until they came out with something that was easier to use and a little less intrusive.