We know wearables can tell athletes about their activity levels and performance, but through neurotechnology, the next generation of sports technology will actively and directly impact their bodies.
We are already seeing first steps into this area with Halo Sport. The device, previously only reserved for professional athletes, has now been made available to the general public. This means that for the first time, anyone can train with neurotechnology previously only available to teams and athletes from the military, Olympics, MLB, NBA, and NFL.
“Ever since the company’s conception in 2013, this has been the moment we’ve been building towards,” said Daniel Chao, CEO and co-founder of Halo Neuroscience.
“Our goal from the start was to help as many people as possible using neurotechnology. Now anyone can unlock their potential using Halo Sport—and this is still just the beginning.”
The device, which resembles a pair of overly sized headphones, was first unveiled back in February. It is meant to be used before or during training and generates a mild tingling sensation when in use. According to the manufacturers website, “Halo Sport uses pulses of energy to prime the brain, powering athletes’ most effective workouts”. They call this Neuropriming.
Neuropriming uses pulses of energy to signal the motor cortex, improving the brain’s response to training, essentially putting the brain into a temporary state of ‘hyperlearning’. When paired with workouts, Halo Sport accelerates gains in strength, explosiveness, and dexterity.
As part of today’s announcement, the Silicon Valley outfit also revealed the names of number of players in the NFL who are training with their product. This includes: Demario Davis, linebacker for the Cleveland Browns; T.J. Carrie, cornerback for the Oakland Raiders; Marcus Smith, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles; Trevor Bates, linebacker for the New England Patriots and Gabe Ikard, center for the Cleveland Browns.
It seems, the players are seeing measurable improvements in strength, explosiveness and skill while training with the device.
“As a result of training with Halo Sport, my standing vertical jump has increased 6-8 inches. In addition I’ve added over 80 pounds to my squat max,” said T.J. Carrie, defensive back and punt return specialist for the Oakland Raiders.
“Hard work has always been my greatest asset, and Halo Sport is what I choose to get the most out of my training.”
Check out a few slides of T.J. Carrie in action.
We asked CEO Daniel Chao why the device is so popular with football players.
“Football is the ultimate game of power and skill. It’s also a highly physical game where conserving one’s body pays a premium not only for game day, but also in the long game of surviving multiple seasons in the League. For these reasons, our work with NFL athletes exploded from day one,” he said.
“For gains in power, Halo Sport combined with resistance and plyometric training helps the brain “learn” to fire muscles more robustly and more quickly. For gains in skill, Halo Sport paired with technique work helps the brain encode complex movement patterns. If all of this training is completed in a more efficient manner, the athletes stands the chance to save training load on his body so that he is better rested for game day.”
Halo Neuroscience says the device is extremely safe to use, and that it builds on decades of academic research surrounding tDCS, TES, and other types of non-invasive brain stimulation. Over two thousand peer-reviewed papers speak to the efficacy, reliability, and safety of the gadget.
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The wearable, at the moment, occupies a unique position in the market. There are only a select few other devices, such as Thync, which stimulate the brain to give you power over how you feel, but these are focused more on stress rather than on improving athletic performance.
“We don’t have any other products that serve as competition. Rather, we have something more formidable, the status quo. If you’re not interested in change, it is easy to dismiss neurostimulation as snake oil or unsafe,” Chao said.
“But if potential customers take the time to review our data and the scientific literature, they will find substantial and compelling proof to the contrary. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of innovative thinkers in the sports world which will keep us busy for quite some time.”
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to benefit from the smart headset. If you’re a relative beginner, you’ll likely see improvement after just a few Neuropriming sessions. Elite athletes will generally see results after two weeks.
“At Halo, we believe that there’s an athlete in all of us. That you don’t have to be a pro to want to train to improve and perform. I’m one of these people. Cycling has been a fixture in my life. I’ve never won a dime playing the sport and yet I train and track my performance. And I love it!” Chao added.
“Our kind of athlete is one that practices their craft and hungers to improve. Halo can help across a broad range of movement based applications, from strength and explosiveness, to skill and technique, to endurance. So if it’s football or golf, power lifting to running a marathon… if the athlete invests time in training to get better, then this is our market.”
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