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Melomind is a pair of headphones that will teach you how to relax

TechCrunch TechCrunch 26/04/2016 Romain Dillet

Meet Melomind, a pair of headphones with some special powers. Melomind doesn’t just play your music, it also comes with four electroencephalographic sensors to track the activity of your brain. Melomind is a hardware and software product that will guide you and teach you how to relax every day.

I’ve tried Melomind a couple of weeks ago, and it’s true that the experience was compelling. It’s hard to say how effective it is unless you use Melomind every day, but I can see myself using it.

Here’s how it works. First, you pair your headphones with your phone using Bluetooth. On your phone, you install the Melomind app for iOS or Android and start a session. A calming voice tells you to relax, and then procedural music starts.

Melomind tracks your brain activity in real time and sends the info to your phone so that the music evolves according to your level of stress. Thanks to this neurofeedback model, you should already feel more relaxed after a five minute session.

I usually hate procedurally generated soundscapes, but Melomind has found the right balance between synthetic music and natural white noise sounds. I thought the app and experience were well-designed. So if meditation isn’t your kind of thing but you’re looking for something similar, Melomind seems a bit easier to pick up.

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The French startup wants you to open the app every day and do a session. You’ll get new challenges and see how well you perform over time. Melomind tracks your progress and rewards you with gamified mechanisms.

And this is key to understanding Melomind’s main challenge. The app needs to push you to use it even when the novelty effect wears off. Because if you want to feel the long term effects of the device, you’ll need to use it more than just a couple of times. And if you want to use these headphones to listen to music, you can unclip the sensors at the back.

Melomind is launching a Kickstarter campaign today. You can get Melomind headphones for around $280 or less with the early bird pricing. The team wants to ship before the end of the year.

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