Early next year you should be able to buy a small device that uses electricity to change your mood at the press of a button on your smartphone. The device, from a startup called Thync, currently consists of a set of electrodes connected to a phone. It has a short-lived energizing effect that feels a little like drinking a can of Red Bull.
Cofounder Jamie Tyler, a professor at Arizona State University, says the device can also be used to produce a calming effect more potent than drinking a couple of beers or taking Benadryl.
When I tried it, I felt relaxed but also clearheaded—more as if I’d meditated or received a good massage than had a couple of drinks. The effect took a few minutes to kick in, but then it lasted for about 45 minutes—although I’m told that varies from person to person.