NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wearable technology lets us track the steps we take, the good we eat and even how we sleep.
Now, a new device claims to show us how we think and provides a window to our brain.
All the technology of today’s world distracts Spencer Roth while he’s working, so he’s trying special glasses that are supposed to help improve his focus.
“It’s helping me train my brain so focusing becomes more natural and more of like an instinct, rather than something I have to force myself to do,” Roth said.
The new brain training device is called Narbis. Lindsay and Devon Greco, mother and son, are the developers.
“We wanted technology that fit into people’s lives, and they use while they’re doing their everyday activities,” Devon Greco said.
As CBS2’s Maurice DuBois reported, the glasses have sensors the Grecos claim to read brain activity, so when you are fully concentrating the lenses become lighter. The goal is to learn to stay focused.
“You are getting constant feedback on what your brain is doing, and very gently, it’s subtly changing the intensity of what you see,” Devon said.
“I’ll be working on something. I’ll notice that the glasses have been clear for a really long period of time. And it’s really reassuring,” Roth said.
There are other devices that also offer brain monitoring to help with stress and focus. Brain game exercises and video training programs have been the standard to help improve concentration. The glasses are the first to use any activity as an opportunity for immediate feedback.
“You can play a video game, you can watch a movie, you can watch the television — you can do your work, whatever that is. So it can be used to improve your engagement in a particular task,” Devon said.
But there were some doubts.
“The question is what are we really measuring with these sensors, and how informative is that information,” Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Heather Berlin said.
Berlin questions the effectiveness of the devices, saying sometimes just a simple change in routine or even physical exercise can bring back focus and help brain function.
“Changing up your environment or learning something new can lead to neuroplasticity — forming new connections — and that’s very healthy for the brain,” Berlin said.
The Narbis glasses cost around $300, as do some of the other brain tracking headbands.