It’s been just over three days since my last cup of coffee. To replace this stimulus, a low, steady hum of electric current is being delivered across my forehead and down through the bone behind my right ear by means of a small, white, plastic triangle affixed just above my right eyebrow. Though initially uncomfortable, like the numb tingling of a jarred funny bone, the sensation quickly subsides to the kind of mild vibration that comes from resting your head against a train window.
The effect of this current, according to Thync, the startup based in Los Gatos, California, which produces the $199 device, is to raise or lower your energy levels, with the aim of reducing dependence not only on caffeine but also on various other forms of pharmaceutical mood control, including sleeping pills, alcohol, and even anti-anxiety medication.
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