Taopatch: The Good, the Bad but Not Ugly

    Sometimes we have to take the good with the bad.

    The good news is that many folks suffering from chronic pain and neural disorders can get some relief by correctly using the Taopatch ($199 to $499 for the Taopatch Pro). The bad news? The patch is exercise phobic.

    We found a volunteer with chronic shoulder pain to test a set of three patches and, although they were able to dull the pain, the adhesives in the package weren’t strong enough to hold them in place when she decided to do a bit of vigorous exercising in a pool.

    The small circular devices that were strategically placed on on her body soon found themselves relegated to the deep, dark depths of a watery grave, never to be seen again.

    The moral to this story is that, while the patches DO WORK, users may have to temporarily forfeit their daily exercise routines.

    The science behind the Taopatch is fairly simple. Each device, when placed correctly on your spine and the source of the pain (usually in groups of three or four) converts the heat generated by your body into light, which it sends to specific points of your nervous system to soothe pain.

    First-time users need to watch a 30-minute video that goes into specifics as to the placement of the small devices and how to use them correctly. Our volunteer was told to wear four patches initially for four hours gradually increasing their use to 24 hours. We modified the instructions so she could use three.

    According to the company’s website, the patches combine acupuncture with laser and neurotheraphy, naturally boosting your body’s immune system.

    Also, according to the website, the patch can be used to:

    • Strengthen immunity
    • Improve posture
    • Eliminate pain (headache, PMS, joint, jaw)
    • Reduce anxiety, improve emotional and mental wellbeing, focus, sleep, metabolism, etc
    • Boost athletic performance and recovery
    • Relieve symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Bell’s Palsy, etc.

    Of course we have no way to confirm or deny these claims, but we do know that it worked on our volunteer’s shoulder pain.

    On a lighter (Lytter) note, we’ve been playing with the new Lytte HarmoniQ earbuds from HarmoniQ Labs. These earbuds are expected to retail for $229, when they hit store shelves in October, but initial investors in the development of the product can get them for $109 (or $199 for two) through a funding campaign on Indiegogo.

    These are the first earbuds to use 3D-printed acoustic casings to enhance what you hear.  The result is a broader range of sound from the deepest bass to the highest treble with little or no distortion.

    Each bud has a built-in microphone featuring active noise cancelling technology and connects to your device using Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

    They also feature:

    • Noise isolation
    • A storage case that can also charge your buds
    • They’re waterproof
    • They work with voice assistants such as Siri and Google Home
    • You get up to five hours of playtime on a single charge.
    • A nine-minute charge gives you an hour of playtime
    • A single charge can last up to 35 hours before it’s drained
    • The case can hold a charge for up to 30 hours.
    • It takes 1.5 hours to fully charge the case and 45 minutes to charge the earbuds

    We’ve been using these babies for about a month and, so far they’ve outperformed a ton of others we’ve played with. Plus, they actually stayed in our ears without irritating them, which is the biggest recommendation we can give any set of buds.

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    • Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years' experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike's Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on www.shns.com until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike's consumer technology website at www.jocgeek.com.

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