Turning Travelers Into Human Chargers May End Jet Lag for Good

Finnish startup Valkee wants to make sure you don’t sleep through your next vacation.

From the land of ice and snow comes a new device that harnesses the sun’s positive rays to combat the infamous symptoms of transcontinental jet lag. Finnish startup Valkee, known for its products targeting seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects over 9.5% percent of Finland’s population, recently launched a new device called the Human Charger that just might revolutionize travel. A bright light-emitting headset run via app, the Human Charger is able to “coordinate” environmental and situational factors between pre-and-post-travel routines, and, according to the Aerospace Medical Association, significantly improve a traveler’s jet lag.

Last year, Valkee created its own placebo-controlled study, and announced that participants using the Human Charger’s “trans cranial bright light (TBL) treatment” had a significantly quicker rate of bounce-back after flights. This included a reduction in maladies ranging from fatigue and inertia to mild forgetfulness. In 2012, Valkee and Finnair, Finland’s premier airline, partnered to offer business-class passengers on their Helsinki-Shanghai route the chance to participate in product testing. The device, called Valkee II at the time, proved so popular that the Human Charger has since been made available to Finnair’s flight crews. In addition, Singapore Airlines, KLM, and Iberia planes have also begun carrying the headsets for longer flights.

So far, responses to the Human Charger in the scientific community have been mixed. A recent study published in 2014 in Chronobiology International stated that the device “does not acutely affect human circadian physiology, alertness and psychomotor vigilance performance,” but admitted “subjective sleepiness decreased immediately over a short period only after ocular light exposure.” Jaari Karhu, MD, Ph.D., a medical adviser for Valkee, would like everyone to be patient, as the new study is possibly “the first ever randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blinded light therapy study on alleviation of jet lag symptoms.” Whether or not it really does do wonders, we know at least a few travelers this summer season who’d like to lessen their jet lag, if only for a few short, non-fatigued moments.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading