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I-Doser 5

I-Doser Editor's Review

Just when you think you've seen everything that can be done on a computer, along comes something that's utterly unique. I-Doser uses specially crafted audio tracks that are designed to disorient the brain in a variety of manners using binaural beats, which mean that each ear hears sound at a different frequency. The claim is that this alters brainwaves, though scientists are skeptical to say the least.

Some of these effects are simply conceptual such as being alert or calm, or even experiencing the emotions of first love. Others are blatantly labelled as recreating the experience of specific recreational drugs of varying legality.

How realistic these are is tough to objectively assess, particularly given the legal, medical and ethical issues with running a control against the substances themselves. It's certainly true that the demonstration file for alcohol does cause a disorientating effect, though not one that's particularly pleasant. Using earphones greatly enhances the effect, and many users may find the company's smartphone apps more useful than a PC download.

It's important to note that this is a freemium model: the software and demo tracks are free, but other tracks are sold in packages that cost around £11 for three or four effects.

Pro's: A lot safer than experimenting with the genuine substances

Con's: Scientific value is debatable at best

Conclusions: A niche novelty product at best, though some may enjoy it. Those with psychological problems or similar concerns may want to take medical advice before using.

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