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Wearable Tech

Humm forehead wearable may help you find your keys (but not your dignity)

The brain-buzzing forehead strip speeds up learning and improves memory, says its creator.

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This $5 patch might make your learning process 120 times faster.

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A wearable touted as a device that can help improve your memory and increase your learning speed was unveiled Thursday by California company Humm. The soft patch sticks to your forehead like a Band-Aid and emits electric micro-pulses aimed at the prefrontal cortex.

In a white paper written with the University of California, Berkeley, Humm said its researchers saw an almost 20% increase in participants' working memory capacity (pdf) compared with participants given a placebo. Learning rate was 120 times faster.

Andy Henson, Humm VP of engineering, detailed the lengthy development process for the brain-boosting patch in a Medium post. The design process began with a headband before moving on to a sticky patch.

"From first focusing on a feature-rich brain stimulation headband ... to really listening to our early customers and understanding their biggest pain points with the product and the tech, we were able to pivot and start iterating on things they actually cared about," Henson wrote.

The patches cost $5 each, and are targeted at consumers aged 40 and over.

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