Thync Relax

We’ve covered products from Thync in the past; the company’s first product was a Borg-like device that you would stick to your forehead, and then electrodes would connect behind your ear or some other spot. Originally, the goal was transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). By using different patterns of electrical pulses, the device was able to alter your mood. You could choose results such as relax, or focus, or energize.

We had a private meeting with representatives from Thync at CES 2017, where they demonstrated their newest iteration of the product: the Thync Relax which is scheduled to launch this spring. Instead of mounting on your forehead, the controller now is placed at the base of your neck, with an electrode pad extending below it between your shoulder blades. This new system has two settings: one to relax you, and another to use before bedtime to encourage a better and deeper sleep.

One interesting development is that the company has discovered that their product actually works by stimulating nerve groups rather then the whole brain. This change of strategy is behind the redesigned placement of the device and electrodes. The system now is based on transdermal electrical neuromodulation (TEN), and they have conductive extensive studies and published scientific papers documenting the results. Electrical stimulation is already widely available in consumer products for pain management (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS), so Thync may be the forerunner in using similar technology for mood control.

One other notable point is that Thync plans on making the device available on a subscription basis; you don’t have to purchase it. Instead, they are looking at “wellness as a service,” much in the same way that “software as a service” (SaaS) is now being offered on a subscription basis rather than being sold outright. This could lead the way to new business models that could speed consumer adoption of devices that might have a higher initial purchase cost.