Khosla invests $13M in wearable device that energizes, relaxes user

By Aditi Pai
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Jamie_Tyler Thync Co-founder Jamie Tyler

Los Gatos, California-based Thync, which has developed a wearable device that aims to help people feel energetic, calm, or focused, raised $13 million in a round led by Khosla Ventures.

“The Thync team is working hard on introducing neuroscience to 21st century engineering,” Thync co-founder Dr. Jamie Tyler said in a statement. “For the first time, we are able to target and optimize neural pathways and brain circuits for personal benefit. Thync technology converges on many of these same pathways to achieve positive effects.”

According to the company, the devices uses neurosignaling algorithms, which are waveforms that signal neural pathways, to reach a level of energy, calm, or focus. Thync, founded in 2011, said it will incorporate hardware, software, neurosignaling algorithms, and biomaterials into its product.

The complete product, called the Thync Vibe System, has been tested on thousands of subjects that participated in hundreds of studies, the company said. Through these tests, the company found that the product increases energy "well within the range of normal brain activity", but Thync is confident the boost in energy was not caused by the placebo effect. 

"Our studies incorporate the use of placebo controls in blind tests to assess the effectiveness of a particular stimulus protocol," the company website explains. "Some of our studies have involved the repeated testing of subjects on a daily basis for multiple weeks to assess safety. Other studies have involved large numbers of subjects in natural contexts to evaluate the efficacy of neurosignaling methods under different conditions. Collectively, these approaches have allowed us to make breakthrough innovations in the field of non-invasive neuromodulation."

In a post, TechCrunch notes that Thync plans to release the device next year, but the company was not ready to show a version of its product yet.

The company has also partnered with branding and design agency Character for its device.

Thync is joining a growing list of startups developing cognition tools and services.

In March, another brain training technology maker, SenseLabs, (formerly Neurotopia) raised $4 million to develop a device that helps athletes train themselves to be mentally stronger. To use the device, SenseLabs users wear a brain sensing headset to gather data the brain’s electro-chemical activity, according to a report from P3 Lab, which was written before SenseLab’s rebranding. SenseLab’s system tracks, for example, where an athlete is on the spectrum of focused to distracted throughout their workout. That data is presented in graphs, scores, and other visual representations via a tablet.