This headband promises to zap your cerebellum so you can sleep better, work harder

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Zapping your brain never sounds like a good plan, but when it’s done right — using a purpose built wearable device for example, rather than sticking wet fingers in a power outlet — the benefits are intriguing. The Elf Emmit is the latest wearable to hit crowd-funding website Indiegogo, and it uses low frequency pulses to influence and change your brainwaves, to help you work harder, sleep better, and minimize the stress of everyday life.

The Elf Emmit is a subtle headband with an electromagnetic coil inside that’s worn around the back of the head, so it can send electromagnetic pulses right at your cerebellum. It doesn’t need batteries or recharging, it simply plugs into the headphone socket on your smartphone or tablet. Using an app, you can choose the signal frequency that’s best suited to what you want to achieve.

Related: Put down that coffee, and pick up the Thync wearable instead

There are five settings, all based on mood, and are designed to influence concentration, sleep, learning, meditation, and stress levels. The technology, known as Pulsed Electromagnetic Stimulation (or PEMS) has been around for a while, and is FDA approved.The idea is the headband’s pulses bring our brains back into line with the task at hand. For example, if we’re stressed and trying to sleep, the Elf Emmit will sync the brain up with our intention.

Worried about sending electromagnetic waves through your noggin? We’re told it’s no problem, with the company describing the dosage as “totally harmless,” but powerful enough to change our brainwaves. The headband is made of polycarbonate so will be strong and durable, there are no moving parts or batteries, and as it weighs about 20 grams, you’ll hardly know it’s there. The app is available for iOS and Android, and the platform is open source, meaning others can develop apps and tools around it.

The benefits certainly sound enticing. Who wouldn’t want to gently influence the brain into doing what we want, when we want, regardless of outside factors like stress or pressure? However, we won’t know if it works for us until it’s on our heads, and the benefits may vary between people. You’ll need to pledge $100 for an Elf Emmit, but that price will increase once the early bird offers have been snapped up. The campaign has a $50,000 target, and shipping of the headband is set to begin in September.

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