If Left to Our Own Devices
3.16.16 SXSW TECH
On a midsummer evening in 2014, not long after I had first heard about
"transcranial direct current stimulation", I sat down to try out tDCS for the first time using the device David had built just for me... someone eager to try tDCS yet not able to build one myself. I could not read a schematic or tell you what an oscilloscope was or that voltage was not the same as current...
The device David built worked really well and while he gained immediate, positive and verifiable results (from the "DARPA" montage) it took time to find the one that worked for me (the "improving insightfulness montage or + t3/-t4 in "10-20" shorthand). As I looked around on the web (Reddit, Flow State, etc) I noticed many who used tDCS devices without meters were not sure if their device was delivering the desired/standard 2mA so they could not really know if a given montage did or did not work. The meter had made all the difference for me, so, at the end of that summer, I asked David if we should sell a few devices on Reddit...
And here we are 18 months later. Our mission was and still is simple: design, build and sell devices that are as safe, effective, simple and affordable as possible. Because the benefits of tDCS are immediate for many but a process for most, it is essential your device is not part of the guesswork. No device, at this point in the evolution of tDCS technology, should come without a meter or be limited by 9V.
We came out of the last phase of the DIYers --- those who built and used their own devices at home and then shared results in an open source community---and we were one of the first Direct to Consumer retailers that added a meter, a current control knob, and extra safety/ comfort features in the circuitry. We also adapted (as you can see below) as our practice evolved so I am super excited to show off our new SSD 4.0 next week at SXSW.
tDCS is here to stay and the devices will come and go but we are proud to be a part of this emergent, exciting and dynamic community.
This is a labor of love but a business we take very seriously. We welcome all comments, questions and suggestions.
Jennifer and David
March 13, 2016