CE Week 2018: New Tech at “CES East”

(Jeff Porten) #1

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2018/06/29/ce-week-2018-new-tech-at-ces-east/

Curious about what consumer electronics companies are up to in the months that follow the big CES show in Las Vegas? They’re not sitting still, as Jeff Porten discovered while attending two mini-CES shows in New York City. Read on for the latest in geeky gear, gadgets, and gizmos.

(aranpura) #2

Jeff, the research that you linked to on the Modius vestibular stimulation headband is related to the company - the first author is the company founder. The research is also only a poster presentation from the Society for Neuroscience conference. That means it was not peer-reviewed, and it makes me wonder whether the research was ever published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The senior author on the poster is VS Ramachandran, and he is now a board member at the company. He is a very respected name in neuroscience, but he doesn’t always have excellent evidence for his more esoteric ideas. I wouldn’t say he is a rigorous experimental scientist, but he is a very creative thinker.

All-in-all, I don’t think a $500 headset to buzz your vestibular nerves can really hurt anything. But there’s probably a reason that this thing hit CES before it ever made waves in any scientific fields.

(Jeff Porten) #3

Ah, thanks for the legwork. Since he said that the company wasn’t publishing findings, when Adam Engst found that link during edits, I didn’t have the foresight to check out its authorship. I’ll ping Josh and Adam about an edit.

Also agreed with you re peer review, although IIRC a poster presentation does have some hoops to jump through—which as you suggest, may have been minimal once they saw Ramachandran’s name.

(aranpura) #4

I’ve presented posters at the SfN conference a few times. In my experience there isn’t a review process - work from an established lab will be accepted. The idea is to provide a forum for preliminary data and interesting ideas, so scientists can debate the merits of the research and the authors can get feedback from their peers. A poster is very much a discussion point, a work-in-progress.

Ramachandran has a sterling reputation, but we should be able to see the data and judge its merits for ourselves. There may be something interesting behind this device, but it’s a surprising finding and warrants skepticism. I really enjoyed reading about it though!

(Jeff Porten) #5

I assure you, “work from an established lab” is a far higher bar than most of what I see at CES approaches. It’s almost amazing how facile the PR reps are at saying scientific-sounding words that mean nothing, and I gather that’s enough for many journalists.

Adam has edited the relevant passage—thanks for alerting us to my mistake.