Everyone likes listening to music. But a new product called NERVANA takes it to the next level, synchronizing gentle nerve stimulation with your tunes to produce a feel-good, calming effect. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s actually a functioning system that’s raised more $350,000 on Indiegogo since it launched last month. USA Today called it “intensely serene.”
But, of course, a product this unique may leave you with a few questions. We caught up with a few members of the NERVANA team to ask everything you might be wondering about this campaign.
How does it actually work?
NERVANA is a wearable product that sends a gentle electrical wave through the left ear canal to stimulate the body’s Vagus nerve, while syncing with music.
“This elicits a calm, relaxing feeling for users in a natural way, which stimulates the brain’s pleasure center, known to release neurotransmitters (the body’s feel-good messengers),” says Dr. Richard Cartledge, co-creator and co-founder of NERVANA.
“This is the first consumer product available like this,” says Ami Brannon, CEO of NERVANA. “There’s nothing like this that sends a signal while you’re listening to music. The tactile sense NERVANA evokes is pleasant, a feel-good effect for your body.”
Is it safe?
Cartledge and his brother Daniel, who is also a practicing physician, had the idea to take the relaxing effect of Vagus nerve stimulation and provide it to users in a way that was entirely non-invasive.
“Vagus nerve stimulation has been studied for decades,” said Dr. Daniel Cartledge.
And, in their testing of hundreds of adults, says Brannon, they’ve seen no evidence of safety issues.
Where did this idea come from?
The Cartledge brothers are practicing physicians who’ve been fascinated by Vagus stimulation for years. They brought together a team of experts in tech and medicine who were all inspired by the vision.
“Healthcare is changing so much,” said Brannon. “We wanted to bring something fun to people but also something that could benefit them; putting wellness in their hands. The clinicians on our team have been exposed to very sick patients for the longest time; we wanted to do something that made people feel good.”
Does it work?
Positive feedback has come in through hundreds of testing sessions, says Brannon.
“The people that have experienced it say it’s like meditation or a really great acupuncture session. Some people compare it to the feeling you get after having your first glass of wine.”
Support from the Indiegogo community seems to indicate interest, too. NERVANA has already raised 441% of their original goal. “The positive response we have received from industry experts at CES and consumers across the globe has been overwhelming,” says Cartledge.
Why did they choose crowdfunding?
The team didn’t consider crowdfunding until they went to CES – previously they were self-funded, but after the overwhelming response they received at CES, they decided to work with Indiegogo in order to bring the product to market faster.
“I love the fact that crowdfunding brings together people from the community who are interested in helping you find the best elements of your product,” says Brannon, “and it helps you improve the way you communicate with your market, too.”
Interested? Contribute to NERVANA on their campaign page!