Halo Neuroscience

This new wearable device will make you fitter

Photos: Halo Neuroscience

They may look like ordinary headphones but they’re so much more: say hello to Halo Sport, promising a new era of intelligent training

Halo Neuroscience, a company made up of doctors, neuroscientists, engineers and designers, which develops neurotechnology for elite athletes, has given the world its first glimpse of the next phase in wearable devices.

It’s not just another wearable that passively tracks human activity though, like other existing models do. This one stimulates electrical impulses in the region of the brain said to be involved in sports and fitness learning, to improve performance and make you better, faster and stronger.

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Halo Sport was officially launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, and although it might look like a pair of headphones, it’s more advanced than that: on the inside of the headband are two neuroprimers, or electrodes, which transmit electrical pulses to the wearer’s brain. Users will need to spray their head with water to ensure good connectivity, and then that’s it, the battery-operated device is ready to go.

This is a neurostimulation technique known as transcranial direct current stimulation, which has had a range of applications over recent years in the treatment of depression, brain injury and chronic pain. Now it looks like it could make its way into the consumer market too.

Halo Neuroscience

Combined with the associated app for control and tracking usage, the device is ideal for any training session with lots of repetition. The result is increased fitness learning, positively influencing the rate at which sports skills are honed, with strength gains and improved performance explosiveness.

Controlled lab testing has shown learning rate to be about 2x better with the device, and although wearing it is unlikely to be the most pleasant feeling, it’s “very tolerable” according to the team behind Halo Sport. It hasn’t caused any negative effects in participants.

© Halo Neuroscience // YouTube

To prevent problems such as overuse, the device will shut itself off after 30 minutes of use per day. Even so, you would benefit from the afterglow of the neuropriming technique for about 90 minutes.

Even sports like swimming can gain an advantage from using the Halo Sport, as it doesn’t have to be worn during exercise. You can wear it before, when you’re warming up, take it off and then get in the pool and perform to a high level.

© TechCrunch // YouTube

Halo Neuroscience founders Daniel Chao, Brett Wingeier and Amol Sarva aim to take the product to the market in the autumn, and the price looks like it will be in the region of £500. Not cheap but for those who aim to be the best, it could be well worth the money.

Whether the Halo Sport will change the training of the future remains to be seen, even if the outlook does look good. To see the presentation from the event and draw your own conclusions, watch the video above. 

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05 2016 The Red Bulletin

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