Think Faster With This Gaming Headset
I was walkin’ through the city streets
And a man walks up to me and hands me the latest energy drink
“Run faster, jump higher”
Man, I’m not gonna let you poison me
I threw it on the ground
You must think I’m a joke
I ain’t gonna be part of this system
Man! Pump that garbage in another man’s veins
That is exactly what Foc.us Labs’ new headset made me think of. Don’t recognise it? Watch the Lonely Island video over here.
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Essentially the headset zaps your frontal lobe with electricity in order to improve focus when gaming. Sounds experimental and crazy, right? Like something that Tesla might’ve invented but that also makes it equally awesome.
The four electrodes deploy transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), a technique similar to something used in treating depression. Anybody else find that similarity off-putting. On the plus side you’ll never be depressed, probably. According to Foc.us the headset will “overclock your brain”, “increase the plasticity of your brain,” and “make your synapses fire faster.”
Current is applied and controlled through a iPhone app. Foc.us has said the headset is not a medical device and as such is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. The device meets regular safety standards but is not suitable for people under 18, with implants or epilepsy sufferers.
Professor Colleen Loo, from the University of NSW school of psychiatry, told SMH that the effect on the brain depended on where and how the electrodes were positioned, but since the headset is of the do-it-yourself variety, it is “potentially quite dangerous.”
“It’s a bit like having an accelerator and brake in a car,” says Loo. “Neither is bad and both are very useful, but applying them judiciously at the right time and in the right context is absolutely essential.”
The Foc.us headset is available online for $249 although long-term effects and side effects remain unknown.