Valkee is a Finnish technology company that has enjoyed a very controversial ride in the last year as people have questioned it for scientific backing regarding its claims. Valkee has created a device that shines light into the ear – somewhat like mobile music player where music is replaced by light. Today, Valkee has announced scientific findings to back their initial claims.
The press release states that Valkee and scientists from the University of Oulu will present the new findings on human brain’s photosensitivity at the Scandinavian Physiology Society Annual Meeting on August 12th to 14th. Without trying to rewrite the science here, Valkee further states that:
Their research localized the OPN3 protein – known as the light-sensitive photoreceptor protein – in all of the 18 evaluated areas of the brain. These brain areas include the core areas of serotonin and melatonin production and storage, which play key roles in mood, sleep and depression. The study shows that the human brain is sensitive to light also outside of the visual system.
Valkee launched their bright-light headset in August 2010. Back in March we announced that Valkee had sold approximately 5000 units of their product by January 2011 ramping up revenues of almost 1 million euros.
The company is financially backed by Esther Dyson, Anssi Vanjoki (former Nokia exec), Lifeline Ventures among others.