To help fight the flab, Modius zapped my brain with electricity and my mind with neuroscience

I'm sitting in a packed auditorium, surrounded by a throng of MWC 2018 attendees, with wires strapped to the back of my neck and wearing the Modius headset. An electric pulse makes its way to my brain - I can't feel it, though. 

"Everyone has a different threshold to the pulse," says Tony Wilcox of Modius, who has set the pulse at an intensity level of four and was the one that connected the electrodes to the mastoid part of my temporal bone (the lumpy bit behind your ear). 

"I'll crank it right up to 10."

Now I can feel it, a crackling sensation followed by the nagging feeling that someone is flicking me behind the ear. It's not pleasant but "you soon get used to it," says Wilcox. 

I don't, so we settle on an intensity level of seven and everything feels that bit calmer, woozy but calmer. 

This is all part of the Modius experience, a headset that has been designed to be worn a few hours a week with the hope that it will make you, well, leaner by stimulating your brain. 

According to Modius' own site, the headset "generates a low-level electrical pulse that is interpreted by the brain as a signal to become leaner." 

The folks behind Modius note that "many people hit a weight loss plateau in the early stages of their weight loss journey. Modius helps break through this plateau by activating the hypothalamus."

According to Wilcox, the idea is that you wear the headset when you are having a quiet moment, as it has the effect of relaxing a person.

"We find a lot of our users wear the headset while reading or just relaxing," he says. 

Wearing the headset isn't meant to be a chore, but there to help you find that little bit of calm.

 That's one of the reasons the Modius team has labelled the headset a bit of 'Careable Technology'.

"Traditionally wearable technology has been focused on monitoring you, allowing you to see how many steps you’re walking, maybe what your heart rate is or how many calories you’re burning," explains Modius. 

"Careable Technology is wearable technology that goes beyond tracking and actually does something."

That something is essentially neuro-stimulation, a technique that's recognised by the likes of NASA and other such case studies that are mentioned on Modius' website. Given anything that tinkers with brain will raise eyebrows, the team seem to be making sure the science behind the technology is watertight. 

Its case studies attest to Modius having a real-world benefit for its users. They reveal that: "after 3 months of using Modius daily almost 80% of users have lost weight". This does come with the caveat that this data has been 'self reported' by Modius users. 

Then there's the $2 million it made at crowdfunding site Indiegogo, which proves the popularity of the device.

Back to the auditorium and my time is up. I've been zapped, my brain jolted into believing that I am a leaner, meaner journalist after the experience. 

I'm refreshed and ready for the world but still not completely convinced that this type of brain stimulation is the way I want to lose the pounds. It does focus me that I do have to do something about my ever-growing paunch, though.

If I were to go down the Modius headset route, it would cost me $499 - when it launches in April - then an additional $37 every few months for new wipes and pads. That's less than the cost of my yearly gym membership, which is currently gathering dust. 

Maybe being zapped is the way forward...

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.