Woman wearing a 'nose flashlight' to measure neural oscillations
twitter | @KrangTNelson

'Nose Flashlight' Turns Heads Online

Nose flashlights.

Say it again, louder this time: NOSE FLASHLIGHTS.

We've all seen some dubious things online before, but nose flashlights might just take the cake. At this point, you're probably wondering what, exactly, a nose flashlight actually is. Well, if you're willing to go out on a limb and believe the hype, it might actually be helpful.

Again, though, that's if you're willing to buy into the hype.

Noses: we all have them.

Woman's face viewed from above, in black and white
Unsplash | Ajay Karpur

I mean, most of us have them. Maybe yours was bitten off or something, but in general, most of us have noses. They're handy not just for sniffing stuff, but also as a convenient place to rest a pair of glasses.

Here we go: nose flashlights.

Dear reader, we promised you nose flashlights, so here you go: nose flashlights. The original tweet is pretty dismissive of the whole concept and doesn't explain what they're actually intended for. Before we dig deeper, it's worth noting that these things aren't literal nose-mounted flashlights.

The brand name is Vielight.

Woman wearing a Vielight 'nose flashlight' device
Vielight | Vielight

This image adorns the landing page for Vielight, along with the tagline 'enhance your cognition.'

Now, most of the time, if you saw someone wearing this headgear and heard them say that it was to enhance their cognition, you'd probably think they needed to be committed. But hold on a sec, let's give these things a fair shake.

There's apparently some science behind the whole thing.

This YouTube video was produced by Vielight, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, it does give a decent breakdown of how the system is supposed to work. In short, the headgear provides photobiomodulation via light. If you believe the hype, this can influence brain oscillations, and, uh, make you smarter or boost your cognition or something.

The new 2022 models are in.

Mannequin head wearing a Vielight 'nose flashlight' device
Vielight | Vielight

If you're shooting for a new look this summer, Vielight's got you covered. Why buy new clothes when you can boost your style game with a bunch of technology on your head? It'll help you stand out while maybe convincing bystanders that you're part human, part machine.

Is it snake oil?

The original tweet boldly declared the Vielight to be 'snake oil' — y'know, BS in other terms — and it's hard not to share that assessment after seeing how silly these things look.

Whether the device is actually worthwhile is a question for another day, but it's worth noting that there are some studies to support the utility of light therapy.

Are they over-promising?

Research showing the benefits of light therapy is one thing, but a company unveiling a line of high-tech nose flashlights and claiming it can help with Parkinson's and covid is another thing entirely. These devices may have their uses, but it's hard to imagine them being useful for anything more than niche applications.

Let's stop beating around the bush. How much do these things cost?

Smiling woman reading in a hammock with a Vielight device on her head
Facebook | Vielight Inc

Alright, alright, we've teased you enough. If you're looking to get one of these bad boys on your head, how much will it set you back?

Well, let's just keep it simple and say that the answer is 'a lot.' A quick look at the 'Shop' page on Vielight's website reveals that the lowest end Neuro Alpha 3 (Brain) costs $1,799 USD while the most expensive Neuro Duo 3 (Brain) goes for $2,399 USD.

Both of them have the word 'brain' in parentheses. I don't know if that's significant or not.

Would you wear one of these?

Smiling man in a light jacket wearing a Vielight device on his head
Facebook | Vielight Inc

It would be interesting to try one of these on to see if it might be cognitively beneficial to strap a bunch of tubes and sensors to your entire head, while having light shoot out of your nostrils. But expecting consumers to fork out two grand or more, just to see, is a big ask.

Let us know what you think of the Vielight 'nose flashlight' in the comments!