Halo Neuroscience Review
Halo Neuroscience is a groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting combination of fitness wearable, neuroscience and slick consumer headphones that promise to increase the efficiency of your workouts with pulses of energy directly into your brain.
Created by a San Francisco based startup, the Halo Sport is at the forefront of high-tech sport performance boosting. Using a technique called ‘Neuropriming’, Halo promises to increase physical output by leaps and bounds.
Let’s take a look at the Halo Neuroscience promise, and find out exactly how the Neuropriming technique sets out to deliver
Who Are Halo?
Halo Neuroscience was created in 2013 by Daniel Chao. A multi disciplined Neuroscientist, Daniel Chao found his origins at Stanford University, holding multiple qualifications in biochemistry, neuroscience and medicine. Early in 2103 Chao was invested heavily in the development of a neurostimulation device to to treat epilepsy.
Neurostimulation uses light electrical wave pulses to stimulate the brain, a process which has been proven to relieve sufferers of chronic pain and neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
Frustrated with the invasive procedures that patients had to undergo to have neurostimulation equipment installed- usually several hours of painful surgery- and the general unavailability of the technology, Chao set out to discover an alternative solution that allowed patients to receive the same epilepsy-reducing treatment without the invasive method. This search ultimately led to the founding of Halo Neuroscience in late 2013.
Chao and his partner were able to raise over $9 million USD from various high profile investors in their attempt to bring high-tech non invasive neurostimulation solutions to the general public, and the end result is the Halo Sport, a personal consumer device that allows users to reap neurological benefits from increased learning capacity to higher physical output.
How Does The Halo Sport Work?
The Halo Sport is Halo Neuroscience’s first consumer offering, in the form of a slick pair of headphones that wouldn’t look out of place next to a pair of Beats by Dre. The Halo Sport focuses on delivering 2.0mA pulses to the motor cortex of an athlete, with the aim of stimulating the brain to form new pathways. The motor cortex is the region of the brain that controls movement and coordination, and stimulating it in this manner is thought to bolster neurons and create more neural connections. Activating the motor cortex with the Halo Sport headset sends targeted signals to the brain that are said to increase ‘motor unit recruitment’- boosting the brain’s ability to activate more muscle fibers, resulting in increased muscle output and higher physical performance.
Chao describes process as ‘Neuropriming’- using the Halo Sport in combination with physical exercise primes the brain to regenerate and strengthen neural pathways much more quickly than without. Chao refers to this brain state as ‘hyperelasticity’, allowing the brain to retain information faster, resulting in increased strength and skill retention without training.
The tech inside the Halo Sport headset is composed of three foam primers that fit onto the device. Each primer targets specific parts of the motor cortex with low energy electrical pulses. Chao explains the process as “…programming the headset to send a constant small current to one primer to another. This flow of current increases the excitability and synchrony of neurons in the motor cortex region situated beneath the primers. This basic mechanism is what allows Halo Sport to modulate motor performance.”
Ultimately, the Halo Sport promises to accelerate the speed at which the body develops muscle memory. The basic premise of the Halo Sport is that if the brain is able to program muscle memory faster, the body will react faster, resulting in gym time or physical activity delivering more results sooner. The Halo Sport headset itself connects to an app that is available for both Android and iOS from the Play Store or App Store respectively. The allows Halo Sport users to focus on a particular region of the body with pre programmed energy signals for maximum athletic output.
Most Halo Sport users don’t report actually feeling the Halo Sport work- the output of each emitter on the headset is less than a standard LED light. Chao describes the sensation varying from user to user- “The feeling is different for each person that wears the device — most describe it as a light tingling sensation, others call it tickly or warm. Some feel no sensation at all. The user has complete control to increase or decrease the strength from their app.”
Does Halo Sport actually Work?
Halo Neuroscience has showed a marked interest in demonstrating the feasibility of their technology. To date, Halo has carried out multiple studies on the efficacy of the Halo Sport Neuropriming technique. Recently Halo carried out a trial in partnership with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association and Invictus Crossfit to measure the improvement of Halo Sport users.
Halo tested a group of professional skiers on their long jump results which resulted in the Halo Sport users showing an increase of 1.7 per cent propulsion over the control group. In the Invictus Crossfit trial, Halo Sport users showed a 5 per cent increase in weight lifting capacity over the control group.
The results don’t stop there, however. Halo also partnered with Michael Johnson Performance, a Texas-based athletic development consultancy, which concluded that Neuroprimed test subjects showed a 12 percent increase in explosive muscle power over non-primed candidates.
In another interesting non-athletic study, Halo has proven that test candidates using Neuropriming were able to increase the efficiency of their ability to learn chords on a piano, demonstrating that Halo technology has cognitive benefits outside of the sports field.
From all of the peer reviewed studies, to anecdotal reports from users online, the Halo Sport appears to be the icebreaker in a new wave of neurotech that actually delivers on the promises it makes.
Chao is quick to point out that the Halo Sport isn’t a replacement for traditional exercise, however- “Practice will always be required to consolidate a skill, so in order to realize accelerated gains over the long term, Halo Sport must be used regularly in combination with daily athletic training.”
The Halo Sport will be available to consumers in Q3 2016, with a hefty retail price of $750.