Wear this headset for 45 minutes a day, and you could hack your body into burning more fat resulting in a leaner, meaner look. No, it’s not a “miracle” cure ad for the terminally podgy, but the pitch for the Neurovalens Modius, a neurostimulation device that sounds almost too good to be true. For less time that one would normally spend in the gym, this piece of tech fools your body into thinking it’s exercising, and decreases appetite, all to help you achieve those hard-to-reach weight-loss goals without much effort.
Suspend your disbelief for a second. Here’s how it works. The Modius is a headset worn like a pair of headphones, just without the cups over your ears. Instead, two pads sit just beneath your ears and zap low-power electrical impulses to your vestibular nerve, activating the hypothalamus. This, Neurovalens says, fools the body into thinking you’re a physically active person, even though you’re sitting down watching Netflix.
The nerve stimulated by the Modius prompts the metabolism to kick in and burn more fat, while also decreasing appetite so you don’t reach for the cookies — all of which should mean your body fat falls without having to listen to your stomach growl all day. In its FAQ, the company says this will happen without exercise or diet, but results will be improved if you do both. However, if you’re eating enough to feed several children on your own, then it’s unlikely to make a lot of difference.
The recommended “training” schedule is a 45-minute session each day, for five days a week. An early study showed an 8 percent body fat reduction took place over a 16 week period using the Modius, and the company founder wrote about his experience using the device for a year. It’s not addictive, is safe to use, and apparently has no side-effects; but the sensation may feel a little like a “gentle swaying or rocking” when it’s naughtily tweaking the vestibular nerve, Neurovalens said. Hypothalamus hacking has been around for a while, and has already been linked with appetite suppression, while wearable technology using neurostimulation is also increasing in popularity. For example, the Thync relaxation device uses the same principle, as does the exercise-focused Halo Sport.
If the idea of becoming less round, without actually doing much to bring about that change, is appealing — silly question, we know — the Modius is available on Indiegogo now for $250, and is expected to be released in the fall. The company’s confident the tech works too, and is offering a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t help.