New Earbuds Fight Winter Blues?

The Valkee 2 is designed to transmit light therapy through the ear canal.

The Valkee 2 is designed to transmit light therapy through the ear canal.

Could this be the strangest product yet? A company based out of Finland developed the first ever bright light headset called the Valkee NPT 1000 and have released their 2nd version of this interesting take on light therapy.

Based on research at Finland’s Oulu University, the device is designed with two LED ear buds that transmit light through the ear canals in order to reach light-sensitive parts of the brain.

These aren’t actually like headphones, because you can’t use them to listen to music with, but they could provide a convenient way for people to receive the light they need; especially during the more difficult times of the year.

Unlike conventional light boxes, the Valkee only requires quick, 12 minute sessions to work and is completely portable. Plus with an 87% user recommendation, it’s certainly something to take notice of.

The Valkee 2 is made from extremely durable aluminum, fits easily in your pocket so you can take it anywhere with you, has a 2 week battery life and can be charged with a USB cable. The makers also claim that it can be used to boost cognitive performance and synchronize your biological clock.

Using the Valkee is also as simple as the developers wanted it to be. The light up circle on the front of the device tells you how much battery life you have and illustrates how far you are into your 12 minute light therapy session.

Although it still has yet to be determined how affective the device will be on a larger scale, 92% of participants in a research study at Oulu University experienced an increase in energy and a positive climb in their mood. That’s right. 9 out of every 10 test subjects used the device for 8 – 12 minutes a day, every day for a full 4 weeks and experienced promising results.

Traditional light boxes are great and are still the current recommendation amongst medical professionals, but they do require longer term session usage of 30 – 45 minutes on average. The Valkee’s main marketing angle is that you only need to use it for 12 minutes and because it can be taken with you; you can actually travel with it.

Although there are still many that are skeptical, this could still work. Your eyes are the part that need the light to boost mood. The brain has photosensitive receptors that require this light. The eyes are just an entry point for the light to get there. The Valkee is designed to supply the light through the ear canal, which is a super-thin part of the skull. This could be a more direct and intelligent method for receiving phototherapy for the user.

To learn more about Valkee, you can visit their official website here.