At CES 2019, I was able to try the eSmartr Sleeve armband, which promises to optimize the brain's concentration capabilities. Small feedback after a brief trial and two brain scans.
In many Hollywood movies, it's about improving the abilities of the human brain to do incredible things. In fact, one of the products that we came across at CES 2019 is probably less sensational, but it pursues a rather similar goal on paper.
This is the eSmartr Sleeve armband. The startup at the origin of this accessory is still very young since it was founded in November 2018 only. The CES 2019 is the first Tech event in which eSmartr participates.
Boost the brain
But let's go back to the armband itself. The latter is made of elastane (the material that is more commonly called "spandex" or "Lycra"). Inside, there is a matrix of tactile sensors that, according to the words of eSmartr, have been positioned following a precise algorithmic formula on which the founder of the startup has been working for several years.
Once this large bracelet placed around the forearm, said sensors send neural signals via the somatosensory channels (which go from the body surface to the brain). eSmartr says that thanks to its home technology called Cognitive Boost, the user's gray matter is able to focus better on a specific task. We end up with a better reaction time and greater ease of storing knowledge.
In particular, eSmartr's leaders explained that when you have your sleeve around your forearm, your brain is better able to ignore the unnecessary "noise" that prevents you from focusing on it. essential.
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Feedback from experience
In order to get a little idea of the product, I lent myself to the experiment proposed by the company and I scanned my brain twice with a material used in particular by the American army. The first time, I did not wear the armband. Without going into details, the graph showed that my brain was a little overheated, most certainly because of the intense activity that reigned in the narrow alleys around me.
I was then able to wear the armband for about twenty minutes before coming back to retry the experience. During that time, I did not feel any particular difference. I obviously did not expect to become a genius with a snap of my fingers, but I was still on the lookout for the slightest sensation that would be out of the ordinary. But the slight shackling of the sleeve around my arm was the only thing I could detect atypically.
However, when I had my brain scanned for the second time – with the big bracelet this time – I felt more relaxed, more able to apprehend the exercise. On the monitor, it was immediately apparent: the lines oscillating on the screen were less agitated than the first time and the modeling of my brain went from red to green.
Successful experience? I really can not say it. On the one hand, I do not know to what extent the difference between the two scans can be attributed to a simple placebo effect. On the other hand, this is only a prototype whose marketing is still far from being in the pipes.
For professional gamers
eSmartr especially wants to address professional gamers by bringing them an object capable of improving their concentration in the game. It is in this particular market that the company will focus its communication at first. However, the armband does not hide its intention to seduce all those who need to consume drugs to be more concentrated in their studies or their professional activity.
I wrote this whole article wearing the armband. Unfortunately, I do not feel that I have been more efficient at writing. It should probably use the accessory over a longer period of time to get a better idea of its benefits. Personally, I think that the main challenge of eSmartr will be to convince the public, to show that the product is credible and that it is not an ugly new invention farfell the great promises without results. This is reminiscent of sleep-enhancing helmets that have had to deal with similar queries.