Wearable technology has rocketed into public awareness in the last few years, particularly with the Apple Watch; along with the "Internet of Things," devices and their connected apps are beginning to saturate nearly every aspect of our lives.
The use of modern technology for altering consciousness and getting into peak states has been a long-standing interest of mine. William S. Burroughs, one of my heroes and also of the 20th Century's greatest psychonauts, was particularly keen on exploring fringe technology like orgone generators and Dream Machines, and using them as aids in his own personal development and creative process. But along with these old standbys, I've become particularly interested in a totally new wave of commercially available neurofeedback devices that are capable of directly monitoring and giving you information on your brain state, as well as other wearables for directly altering consciousness. While some of this technology is new, however, related devices (like the Proteus and Thoughtstream, which still look incredibly retro) date back to the 1980s, and have long been in use in the "psychonaut" underground. Perhaps it's only now, with wearables coming more into the public eye, that this type of technology will gain more traction and interest.
Here's some of the best consciousness-altering wearables on the market. You can click the headline for each to get more information at Amazon.
1. Muse Headset
The Muse, one of the pre-eminent commercial devices for neurofeedback, straps to your head and gives you immediate feedback on your brain states. Whereas neurofeedback devices once cost tens of thousands of dollars, this small device brings the power of neurofeedback into your home—and can be used for deepening and monitoring your meditations.
Similar to the Muse, Thync attaches to your head—in this case, a single location on your temple—and is able to induce deep altered states similar to drug highs. Sounds incredibly useful for fast sigil casting, even in public. If I were to only get one of the, this would be the one. The promise of drug-free highs is never one I pass up.
The NeuroSync connects your brain to your computer and can be used with over 100 apps. The makers of the product literally claim it will let you "harnass the power of your mind to become a powerful wizard." Sounds good to me!
If you don't want to go full into neurofeedback, the Mindplace offers an easy and portable biofeedback system—it measures information from your skin instead of your brain. Incredibly useful for stress relief and meditation, if you want a no-frills approach.
A classic and famous device in the psychonaut underground, the Proteus is a set of glasses used for inducing drug-like altered states of consciousness. You'll definitely feel like you're in a 1980s cyberpunk book, but you'll have a lot of fun, too.
6. Apple Watch
Of course, I couldn't leave out the Apple Watch, which is in a way the most useful device on this list, primarily because you can wear it all the time, particularly in polite company. You can load the Apple Watch up with apps which monitor your vitals, your sleep, your diet and even (with apps like Headspace) train you in meditation, making it an incredibly potent tool for long-term, sustainable consciousness alteration, providing you with tons of data (deellliiccciousss data) for honing your mind and body. If I were actually to stick with one device from this list, it would probably be the Watch.
Check out these devices on Amazon, and let me know in the comments if I've left any good ones out!
(All images used for review purposes only.)