Many consumer tDCS devices have been released over the years—some with excellent and easy-to-use features, and some not so user-friendly. These consumer tDCS devices typically consist of a stimulator device with free electrodes meant for the consumer to experiment with different tDCS montages without fully knowing or understanding the potential effects or benefits from said tDCS use.
LIFTiD represents a growing trend in a new generation of consumer tDCS devices where these devices are typically optimized to facilitate and/or enhance a certain task that a user is performing, enabling the user to not only be confident in the efficacy of the stimulation they are obtaining, but to also not worry about precise positioning of the electrodes on the head using a 10-10 or 10-20 EEG positioning system; case in point—LIFTiD promises to replace the use of chemical stimulants such as caffeine, performance enhancers, etc. by improving focus, productivity, and memory via targeted delivery of tDCS. LIFTiD has been marketed toward students, eSport gamers, musicians, athletes, and others who emphasize the importance of motor performance and focus.
We were fortunate enough to have received a demo LIFTiD device and everyone in the office had a chance to play around with it. In the box, we found a nice leather carrying pouch—a pleasantly convenient addition. Contained inside the carrying pouch was:
- The LIFTiD stimulator
- A mirror for positioning (simple but clever and useful)
- A charging cable
- A 2 oz. empty bottle for holding saline
- A spoon measured to hold the exact amount of salt needed for creating saline
- 6 disposable electrode sponges
- A user manual
The device itself feels very high-quality, with few moving parts and no loose or wiggly components—lending to it a highly durable and robust feel. The device was also very easy to prepare for use; as per the instructions, all we had to do to create the salt water solution was to add one plastic spoonful of table salt to the saline bottle, and fill the bottle to the top with warm water. We then wet the sponges with the saline as instructed until sufficiently damp but not dripping wet, and placed one wet sponge on each electrode on the device. We placed the device on our forehead with a two fingers-width length from our eyebrow to the bottom of the electrode.
Operating the device was also a piece of cake—we only had to hold down the power button on the bottom of the device for the stimulation to begin. The stimulation is pre-set to 20 minutes, with a 30 second ramp-up. It’s advised that you perform any tasks that you need to do within the subsequent 20 minutes of stimulation, before a 30 second ramp down ends the session. From our experience, most of our users felt a slight tingling and warming sensation in the beginning ramp-up phases of the stimulation before we stopped noticing the stimulation almost completely. We decided to use the device while each performing our own individual tasks—some of our users noted feeling like that they had a snappier reaction time when playing video games, while those more musically inclined among us noted it felt easier to pick up new musical pieces and sight-read (this was on the piano). I personally did my LIFTiD stimulation at the gym while I worked out—and it genuinely felt as if I had an improved endurance and recovery since I was able to put in a couple of extra reps during my dropsets.
It’s important to note as compelling as the effects might have seemed for many of the members of our team that had tried this device, effects will inevitably vary to a certain degree between users, since the effects of tDCS can often be quite subjective. However if you’re thinking of getting into tDCS, LIFTiD is a perfect device to start with a relatively low price point at $149.00 as well as a super easy-to-use user interface (which consists of literally a single button).
You can find the device on Caputron, with exclusive savings if you use promo code “tdcs.com”.