Tech that's trying to take the hard work out of exercise.
This weird-looking wearable uses low-power electrical pulses to dupe your brain into thinking you’re active – or so its makers promise.
Ta da! Over a looong period of time you lose weight, build muscle and look leaner.
Sorry, we’re not convinced.
Come on, we’ve all been curious whether those daytime TV ads promising “No more gym! Get lean with zero effort” actually work.
And the Modius dream is to give you a great body while you watch Eastenders.
This is something that appeals to a broad church of superficial/body-conscious types: the couch potatoes, the multitaskers, those who don’t have time to hit the gym, those who hate the gym, those who have more money than sense.
Find your tribe.
The science behind the Modius is that it stimulates the wearer’s vestibular nerve (this runs into the brain from just behind the ear).
This stimulation is apparently interpreted by the brain as the body being more physically active.
The idea is that you wear it for 45 minutes a day, five days a week, and it will trigger the brain to reduce fat storage by increasing fat-burning, decreasing appetite, and activating metabolic hormones.
You’ll feel like a cast member of Star Trek while using the Modius, although we appreciate this point could be repeated in ‘The Bad’ too.
Contrary to my fears, you don’t feel anything – such as your brain being fried – which is always a bonus.
At various points I’ll admit, I thought it was working, although if an impartial judge disagreed, I wouldn’t be at all surprised (hello placebo effect!).
After using for two weeks, I didn’t actually see any difference: I know, the disappointment hangs heavy.
But if you want to keep the dream alive, I should probably admit that the last week of testing was spent on holiday in Spain eating every plate of tapas in sight.
We deduce that if you want to give the Modius a chance to work you probably need to make some kind of effort, such as sticking to a fitness regime, while using it.
(That means to no sofa-based miracles just yet).
You will also look and feel like a complete tool if you decide to use the Modius in any public space (see photos, again), and it’s not hugely comfortable (the sticky pads can rip your hair out if they get caught in it).
The Modius is available on crowdfunding site Indiegogo now for $498 (about £390), and is expected to be released properly come autumn.
That’s a pricey investment, especially when you can’t truly tell if it works.
The Modius didn’t seem to work. It’s a very strange gadget, and something you’ll probably not want to wear. This doesn’t bode well.
Then again, we might be even fatter now if we hadn’t used it, so who knows?
The most positive interpretation is that the Modius makes your wins even greater – when used in-line with a healthy lifestyle.
To all you lazybones, don’t give up your gym membership just yet.
Lee Bell is a freelance journalist specialising in tech, innovation & digital health. His writing appears in Forbes, The Metro and Wired. He can be found tweeting at @llebeel.