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Can Electric ’Brain Training’ Devices Make You Smarter? @ Fortune.

The gadgets are advancing—faster than the evidence in their favor.

If there were a system or a product that could make you, say, 10% smarter, you’d buy it in a second, right? That’s been the promise of the “brain training” field, which has grown to a $1.3 billion market through products like Lumosity, a series of online word games and mind twisters that has amassed 70 million users. And that’s just one of many options. There’s “neuroleadership” coaching, $15,000 intensive brain-training retreats, even coffee shops promising cognitive-enhancing joe.

Now, faster than the current coursing through your cerebellum, the field is burgeoning into what could be called Brain Training 2.0. The new generation consists of devices that promise to monitor or stimulate your brain to make you calmer, more focused—perhaps even smarter. Priced from $79 to $595, these wearable gadgets—with names like Melon, Emotiv Insight, Melomind, iFocusBand, and Narbis—aim to gauge your cerebral activity using electroencephalography (EEG) and then redirect your focus. Other companies, such as Thync, Fisher Wallace Laboratories, and Halo Neuroscience, use mild electric pulses that purportedly activate certain connections in your brain. Some—such as Halo, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, and Thync, whose lead investor is Khosla Ventures—even have the blessing of top venture capitalists.

Read more.

There are a lot of devices right now, with all the sensors, Bluetooth and powerful smartphones it’s hard to keep up or know which ones are toys, fitness or something else. There’s a huge opportunity for someone to come in with real data and devices that can help people, getting them approved for medical use is challenging, so we’ll see many that just go for “mood”. Are we going to hook our brains up to a something we backed on Kickstarter … seems likely.