If you recall when we first told you about the Mendi brain-training headset (over here) we said we’d be able to give you a hands-on review. While the campaign is closed, they are in an “In Demand” phase so you can still order one at a discount. So, here we are with our thoughts after spending some time with a prototype.
Right out of the box, the Mendi doesn’t feel like much – it’s relatively light weight, and that’s a good thing. To me, I was reminded of Geordi La Forge‘s banana-clip visor, albeit after it had a modernizing redesign by Sir Ives. After a quick charge (micro USB), it was about the quickest device – ever – to pair up to my phone. All that was left was to use the app and train my brain.
Once the Mendi is paired, you can go through a little tutorial on your phone to see how it is the app is working. After that, it’s just time to, well, set the time you want to train for, kick if off, and then stare at the screen.
The Mendi app certainly feels like a video game, with a small ball (the Mendi logo) rolling along a surface. Eventually, hills start to show up and the ball climbs up, with the sky changing colors, all while you collect lightning bolts. Try as I may – closing my eyes, adjusting my breathing, and so on – I could not consciously change the result that I saw on-screen. Something was happening, but physical changes I could consciously control didn’t have the impact.
Here, instead, you’re working on that biofeedback loop, presumably one that is watching the reward centers of your brain to get things going. So, yeah, this is one to sit back and relax, and see what it can do for you. Myself, I cannot conclusively say if the device works as advertised, as I was simply not able to get into the full 30-day regimen that they suggest to see improvements.
Their website and the Indiegogo page do have plenty of testimonials. For me, I think the Mendi falls into the category of “it didn’t necessarily make a difference for me, but it may for you”. In fact, that’s where a lot of devices and non-traditional treatments sort of fall for me, in that I just don’t have the results that a good many others have. So, while I can say that the Mendi didn’t do any harm, I cannot unequivocally say that it was of significant benefit to me. So, the onus is on you to come to your own conclusions. If you want to try one out, it looks like there are two slots still left at the $299 pricepoint over on Indiegogo. And you know, if you do get one, please reach out, as I’m interested to hear your experience. mendi.io
Tech Specs from Mendi
- Connection: Bluetooth wireless; connects to iOS and Android devices
- Headset color: White/Orange
- Textile color: Gray
- Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion
- Battery time: 20-30 sessions (~5 hours)
- Charging: USB Type-C
- Headband size: Adjustable
- Weight: 55g
- Lit-up button with logo
- Accelerometer & Gyroscope
- Non-invasive proprietary brain measuring sensors
- Recommended min age: 5+