Neuroenhancers

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Neuroenhancers

Neuroenhancer devices aim to record brain waves and send feedback.

Neuroenhancer devices aim to record brain waves and send feedback. Some promise to help you become more productive, while others are meant to boost your mood.

Australia-based SmartCap uses a tracking system with voice warnings and vibrations to keep you alert while on the job. The Muse headband uses neurofeedback to help manage stress and improve athletic performance. The Emotiv Epoc+ and Emotiv Insight and mobile EEG devices monitor your brain activity and analyze cognitive performance.

Doppel, which is worn on the wrist, uses electric pulses to augment your energy. The pulsations, which you dial in based on your needs, are supposed to have an effect on your brain similar to that of music. The Thync Kit is a series of electrodes and a triangular device that you stick on to your head—as well as a mobile app synced you to your smartphone.

It delivers low-grade electric pulses to influence either your sympathetic (fight or flight) or your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. Of course, this same technology can be used for nefarious purposes. In China, the military and some businesses now use connected headbands and hats to monitor employee brain activity.

This emotional surveillance technology is said to optimize productivity—State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power, based in Hangzhou, reported its profits spiked $315 million since using neuroenhancer devices and software to mine, refine, and analyze employee brain data.