Navy SEAL elite teams see positive outcomes from neuro-priming headsets

Elite training never ends and never settles. Neurostimulation wearables from Halo Neuroscience used to improve physical training in sports are undergoing the ultimate testing with the ultimate warriors, the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as Navy SEAL Team Six, reports the Miltary.com news site.

The Navy is exploring multiple cognitive enhancement technologies to improve mental and physical performance. “We plan on using that in mission enhancement,” Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski said. “The performance piece is really critical to the life of our operators.”

Captain Jason Salata, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command told Military.com, “Earlier this year, Naval Special Warfare units, working with DIUx, began a specific cognitive enhancement project with a small group of volunteers to test and evaluate achieving higher performance through the use of neurostimulation technology.” DIUx is the Defense Innovation Unit (Experimental) initiative.

Since last summer, multiple SEAL units including SEAL Team Six have been testing the Halo headset. The Navy is not releasing the number of SEALs testing the neuro-stim headsets nor the exact results, except to indicate that so far, the outcomes are positive.

“Early results show promising signs,” Salata said. “Based on this, we are encouraged to continue and are moving forward with our studies.”

navy seal teams testing halo neuroscience neuro priming headset plank front

Halo Neuroscience CTO and co-founder Brett Wingeier told Military.com the headset doesn’t provide cognitive enhancement, but neuro-priming. When someone wears the headset for a 20-minute session prior to training, the brain goes into a state of hyper-elasticity, helping the user learn better and more efficiently.

Used prior to physical training, the headset helps athletes develop explosive power for leaping or starting hard. No training effect happens without focused hard work on the part of an athlete or, in this case, a military operator, but the performance improvement from the hard work is enhanced.

“Whatever you’re training on as far as a movement-based skill,” Wingeier said. “If you do deep practice, hard repetition, this accelerates the benefit of that.” For special operators, the same system could improve shooting performance, he continued.

Referring to the SEALs testing the Halo headset, Wingeier said, “They’re training at this amazingly high level, and the amount they can train is actually limited by things like physical recovery. They want to be able to maintain those incredible physical standards as efficiently as possible. That helps them avoid injury. If I were to sum it up, it’s kind of all about just training a little bit smarter.”

Wingeier said lab tests of neuro-priming with sports teams have proven safe, but others express concerns about long-term side effects.

Andrew Herr, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a security think tank, says side effect concerns can be viewed differently with warriors than with non-military uses.

“The concept’s that if you’re not healing, then no side effects are worth it or acceptable,” Herr said. “[But] when you’re sending people into combat situations where their lives are on the line, the ethics are flipped … I think actually we are thinking about ethics all backward in this field because the military has a unique requirement. And it’s even more powerful in the special operations field.”

Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.
Photography

Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Outdoors

The Naseka electric snowmobile is built for kids, but you’ll likely want one too

The Naseka electric snowmobile is a vehicle built for kids, allowing them to have a safe and efficient ride on snow, with the ability to trade out the ski for a wheel for use in the summer too.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Under Armour drops prices on Gore-Tex Jackets, Pants, and backpacks

The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on right now through Monday, February 18. During this time, you can get up to 40 percent off a huge range of outlet items, including Gore-Tex rain gear.
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Outdoors

The best heated gloves keep your hands toasty warm in all temperatures

When temperatures plunge, the first thing that gets cold are your fingers. Ward off frostbite and keep your digits toasty warm with these best heated gloves.
Outdoors

High-tech but low-key, these are the amazing materials inside your outdoor gear

We take a look at some of the materials that are used in the creation of our favorite outdoor gear, making our jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and other items warmer, drier, and more comfortable even in harsh weather conditions.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Emerging Tech

‘Guerrilla rainstorm’ warning system aims to prevent soakings, or worse

Japanese researchers have created a "guerrilla rainstorm" early-warning system aimed at preventing severe soakings, or worse. The team hopes to launch the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.