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Zap yourself awake: Thync’s mind-altering, brain-jolting band is now on sale for $300

Imagine being able to physically relax in moments, wherever you are and at any time, or do the opposite, and get a multiple Red Bull-style energy boost without actually drinking any of the sticky, sickly liquid? The Thync Vibes offers both these effects, digitally, by combining cutting-edge neuroscience with the conveniences of a high-tech wearable device, and it was one of the most exciting pieces of tech we used at CES earlier this year.

You place Thync Vibes on your forehead and it uses ultrasonic waves to calm you down or give you an energy boost. Now it’s ready to go on sale, and we chatted to the team behind the device to find out what’s changed in the last few months, and more information on this unusual, mind-bending wearable.

Shorter programs mean more versatility

“The Vibes programs have gotten better, and they’ve gotten shorter.” Isy Goldwasser, CEO and co-founder of Thync told Digital Trends. When I tried Thync out in January, the basic relaxation program took between 10 and 15 minutes. “Now we have five minute versions of both the Calm and the Energy programs.”

“By improving the neuro-signalling algorithms, we have been able to get the same impact we used to get in a 10-minute program.”

This is a big step forward, but the advancement doesn’t mean the longer programs have been removed. Instead, the Thync Vibes will offer three different programs for wearers.

“The five minute version will be useful for taking the edge off during the day; the 10-minute version will probably be best for unwinding at the end of the day; and there’s a 20 minute program for resting before going to bed,” Isy continued. The opposite is also true for the energy setting.

Lowering the time needed to feel the effects of the Thync Vibes hasn’t reduced the effectiveness either. “By improving the neuro-signalling algorithms, we have been able to get the same impact we used to get in a 10-minute program.” Isy is confident that even spending just five minutes using the device is enough to feel the effects, but he does stress you will need to spend time using it to get the greatest benefits.

By reducing the minimum time to five minutes, Thync is increasing the device’s usefulness. After all, the classic break lasts for five minutes. The difference is that with the Thync Vibes, you’ll actually get to make the most of it, and set your body up for whatever’s coming next. All without any coffee, or a few deep breaths to ease the stress.

The design is no longer a secret

The Thync Vibes design was a closely guarded secret until now. “The final design of the product and the app are light years ahead of what we had in January,” Isy proudly stated. Gently curved and with a space-age, fashionable shape, the Vibes is unlike any wearable we’ve seen before.

The main body is attached just above the right eyebrow, and is made to be both comfortable and portable. “It’s a totally new way, in terms of design, of thinking about these kinds of products,” said Isy. “It is something you can easily wear for 20 minutes, and not feel awkward. If anything it’s going to be a great conversation starter!”

A flat, cable-like, flexible circuit strip — which doesn’t actually contain any wires at all, and had to be invented by Thync — stretches from the main module round to the back of your neck when it’s used for calm, or behind the ear for energy. These strips use a special gel and have a thin conductive layer that breaks down once it’s used, to provide the best possible contact. That means they are a consumable product, and are really only guaranteed for a single use. This is perhaps the biggest downside of the Thync: you have to buy packs of strips to continue using the device.

How much will it all cost?

We were aware of this earlier this year, but the pricing structure wasn’t confirmed. We now know a pack of five energy or calm strips will cost $20. However, Thync doesn’t view them as a revenue source, wants to bring the price down as soon as possible, and is working on improving the life of the strips for the future. At this time, Thync’s not making any money selling the strips at this price. Additionally, Isy told us that used carefully and against clean, oil-free skin, the strips can be used two or three times before they become useless.

You’ll pay $300 for the Thync Vibes itself, and that includes about a month’s supply of strips to get you started. Thync will start its launch in June, but initially it will be limited to a few thousand people in the U.S., and general availability will follow on in the fall, giving plenty of time for the early adopters to get up and running. However, pre-orders will be taken starting June 2, through Thync’s website.

Related: Read what happens when you let the Thync work its relaxation magic on you

“We see this as a first-in-class product,” Thync’s Chief Science Officer and Thync co-founder Jamie Tyler said. “It’s the next-generation of wearable that actually does something for your biology. We’re really intrigued to see what the world makes of the Thync,” Jamie concluded. So are we.