2. The flimsy promises of brain wearables
In an increasingly lucrative market, dozens of companies and startups are selling futuristic-looking headgear that promise to connect to your brain to relieve stress, enhance memory, improve sleep or increase focus.
What they're saying: Experts say these products make mostly unsubstantiated claims, and in some cases can harm buyers, my colleague Kaveh Waddell reports.
There are two broad categories of wearable brain devices — those that record the user’s brain activity and others that stimulate the brain with electrical currents.
- These technologies are mainstays in research labs and hospitals — but now they're on Amazon and Kickstarter, too.
For example, Bellabee, a $159 headband and app, says it can help reduce symptoms of ADHD and PTSD.
- Modius, a $499 headset, claims to curb appetite and help users lose weight.
- The Brain Stimulator, a $120 device with electrodes that send a current to the brain, says it's based on technology that can help with depression, pain, addiction and memory.
None of the three — a small subset of the growing market — offers research showing that their devices do what they claim. None responded to requests for comment.
- The government has done little to police companies selling these devices straight to consumers.