A Los Gatos, Calif., startup is developing a wearable that promises to alter state of mind by sending ultrasonic or fine electric currents through the brain, building a consumer product on top of a nascent area of neuroscience.
Thync, which has been operating in stealth mode for the last three years, will announce on Wednesday that it has raised $13 million from Khosla Ventures, Sling Media co-founder Blake Krikorian and other undisclosed investors.
The company isn't yet providing images or many details about the product itself, which isn't expected to reach the market until next year. But it says its "neurosignaling algorithms" can help people feel calm or energized.
"We're not wired to call up our best focus, energy and self control at will, but we know we have them inside us," Chief Executive Isy Goldwasser said in an interview. "The power of neuroscience and neurosignaling is, we can access the pathways and regions that trigger those modes."
There is a growing body of scientific literature exploring the possibilities of brain stimulation for improving cognition, treating depression and much more, with some positive results. There's also a budding DIY movement that relies on components from Radio Shack.
But some researchers have warned that bigger and better studies are required to understand the mechanisms at play as well as the possible risks. A Wired story on the subject earlier this year pointed out that one study suggested improvements in one area could come at the cost of other cognitive functions.