The US Navy has been looking at ways to improve the performance of its soldiers, who notoriously train hard and sleep little. They've tried medical performance aids like amphetamines and modafinil, meditation, and even regular coffee, but now they're turning to the brain-training wearable tech of Halo Neuroscience.
The Navy is currently testing the tech with a "small group of volunteers" that includes Seal Team Six, the unit famous for killing Osama bin Laden. The Navy wouldn't say how many soldiers are currently testing the device, which sounds a lot like Halo's $749 Halo Sport, or whether there's any data from the tests, but there are "promising signs." Promising enough to move forward with more studies.
Read next: How Thync has learned to hack your body
The ultimate goal for the Navy is to maintain Seal physical standards while increasing efficiency. Ideally, the soldiers would get the same level of training performance in a shorter amount of time, potentially reducing injuries and having more time to do other things, like actually sleep.
Halo's Sport headset fancies up what looks like a Beats headphone clone with some silicone spikes that you spray with a saline solution. You put the headphones on for about 20 minutes during training and feel a slight tingle on your skull that supposedly puts your brain into a "hyperlearning" mode to increase your focus. The idea is that it increases your motor functions to give you more initial burst and power in your athletic endeavors, which is why it's typically aimed at professional athletes.
In our time with the Halo Sport, we found that people obsessed with improving their performance would find the most to gain from the Halo Sport. While that typically includes elite athletes, it's not a stretch to see how elite military units can benefit in the same way.
How we test