Halo Sport: The brain zapping headphones
When you're training to be the best, time is scarce. But, what if athletes could get more out of every rep? What if an one hour workout could get them 1½ hours of gain?
Athletes that headed to Rio Olympics this year had the help of a new technology of a very familiar, but unusual kind. Headphones. They appear to look like any regular pair of headphones, but with a technology that will blow your mind. Quite literally. Sounds outrageous? But, Daniel Chao and Brett Wingeier- the founders of Halo Neuroscience- think they can make this happen with their brain zapping approach.
They have been able to develop a headset that boosts every workout by stimulating your brain rather than your muscles. The Halo Sport headphones, as they're called, are designed especially to prime your brain for exercise with the help of a process called "neuropriming".
As the wearer exercises or navigates unfamiliar terrain, the device beams a flow of pulses to the brain. This process is called "neuropriming".
Neuropriming involves the use of gentle electrical pulses that encourage the users brain to form new pathways making the same amount of training more effective. Sending such targeted signals to the brain helps boost the motor unit, which helps activate more brain muscle fibers. Increased muscle fiber activation shows increase in muscle performance.
All this technology is concealed neatly in a typical headset body and while the ad might show the users listening to music, it's primarily designed for neurostimulation. There are three foam like structures that fit onto the inside of the device that sit on specific parts of the motor cortex of the user. The device is programmed to send a constant small current from one foam primer to another. This flow of current increases the users' excitability and synchronization of neurons in the motor cortex region situated right under the foam primers which is the basic mechanism of the technology i.e. modulate motor performance.
The basic aim of the technology is to encourage your brain to accelerate muscle memory. Such acceleration helps muscles respond faster and better to training, which means an hour at the gym using Halo Sport gives more gain than one hour without them. The headphones are run with the help of an app which lets the users target a particular area of their body for desired gains. Athletes activate Halo Sport's preprogrammed energy signals through the app before a workout, then just exercise as usual. It feels no different than a normal workout session.
Hearing about the amount of electrical pulses sent through the headset, it raises a question of doubt about the harm this current might cause. Well, the range of current used in these headphones is generally 2.0mA or less. To give you an idea, one tiny LED uses more current than this device. The feel of the headsets differs from person to person who uses it. Most users describe it as a light tingling sensation, some ticklish and warm and some feel no sensation at all. The user has complete control over increasing or decreasing the strength through the app.
According to recent analysis from Wizards Island insights, worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach more than 100 million units by the end of 2016, representing 29.0% growth over 2015.
Halo Sport is designed specifically to make your workout session more valuable and help accelerate gains over the long term. This technology's results are best experienced when used regularly in a combination with daily athletic training.
When used overtime, athletes using Halo Sport showed a remarkable improvement over those who didn't. Shocking isn't it? Well, they have the studies to prove it!
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