Benjamin Syzek, a neuroscience Ph.D student at Michigan State University in the USA has put forward the idea of producing a transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) kit to increase the cognitive performance of wearers by up to 250%. Benjamin is the founder of GoFlow, a startup with the motto "Learn faster. Learn more. Be awesome", which plans to sell 'GoFlow β1' kits for an affordable $99.
tDCS is thought to be a safe technology for brain stimulation, and according to GoFlow involves "a constant, low current delivered directly to the brain via small electrodes to effect brain function". As concerning as allowing electricity to flow via your forehead is, the kit appears to limit current flow to 5mA, and is enforced by an included fuse.
If you're still concerned about the health risks of improving brain performance, you may take comfort in knowing that DARPA, the US Airforce and The University of New Mexico employ the same technology, among others. Uses include training snipers and drone pilots.
The kit itself boasts solderless assembly, a 30 second ramp up (for comfort reasons, naturally), and a 30 day warranty. We're interested to see how foolproof these kits are, and whether it'd be possible to assemble them in such a way that safety mechanisms are bypassed.
Need more convincing? Perhaps this tacky and somewhat concerning video will do the trick!
Preorders are due to start soon, so if you're a body hacker willing to put your brain on the line for science, keep an eye on GoFlow's website for sale dates. Until then, we're going to stick to good ol' fashion coffee and tea!