A headband that claims to monitor children’s brainwaves in order to improve their focus is available for purchase in China, aimed at “Tiger” mothers and fathers who’ll do everything to help their children succeed. But many of its target customers are already creeped out.
The Focus1, or Fu Si, headband, from US-based startup BrainCo, claims it can measure how closely students are paying attention through electrodes that detect electrical activity in kids’ brains and send the data to teachers’ computers or to a mobile app. A light on the headband that gleams red, yellow or blue, also purports to signal how engaged a child is with the task at hand—with red being the highest level of attention. The product already provoked unease in April, when photos and footage of primary school students in one Chinese province wearing the product started to circulate widely online. Now the product is retailing for about 3,200 to 14,000 yuan (about $450-$2000) on the country’s biggest e-commerce sites.