Thync costs $299 and has just been released to the public. It provides “calm or energy on demand”, the company says, by using “neurosignalling” to activate nerves and change people’s state of mind.
The Thync looks like a small, white plastic triangle that is placed on the forehead. It’s then fed with “Vibes” — specially-formulated zaps that either wake people up or calm them down.
The whole thing is controlled by phones. The zapping lasts an hour but the effects can go on for long after that, the company claims.
Fantastic. How long do you think it will take before this technology finds its way into less voluntary arenas? Just imagine what Thync devices could do for theaters, churches, political speeches … the list is nearly endless. “That was the best political speech I’ve ever heard. So energizing. I think I’ll vote for that charlatan.”
Assuming this technology actually works as advertised, it probably won’t take long before more specific mood states could be dialed in. Perhaps the neurosignalling could be coupled with mood-altering pharmaceuticals, and you could exist in a complete bubble from the world, completely insensible to the actual nature of what’s going on around you, and completely incapable of managing your own emotional, psychological states. What a wonderful brave new world that would be.
If you haven’t detected it yet, I am not terribly enthusiastic about this technology. The possibilities for its abuse are rather endless, and even its proper use seems to me to be a replacement for responsible interaction with your actual circumstances. If you’re tired all the time, why not go to bed a little earlier? If you’re not excited about life, you probably have bigger problems than could be solved by a little zap of neurosignalling.