You’ve seen them just about everywhere by now. Those plastic bands with the hologram in the middle that everyone from Kobe Bryant to Robert DeNiro wears? The company that makes them, Power Balance, admitted there’s not any real science behind the fancy wrist gear that retail for $29.95.
The company wrote: “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims.” The company also agreed to provide refunds to customers who want their money back.
The company began selling bracelets in 2007 embedded with holograms that were allegedly supposed to “interact with the body’s natural energy flow.” They grew fast on top of celebrity endorsements. In 2007, they sold $8,000 of products and expects more than $35 million in sales for 2010.
Many people liken them to lucky charms, all psychological treatments people use to give themselves an edge. Even those tests they show in the commercials where people are pulling on each other and testing balance have been proven to be not good tests. For one, a researcher did the same thing with plain silicone bands and got the exact same results as he did with the Power Balance. The researcher believes everyone does better the second time around because they know what to expect, whether or not they’re wearing a band.
I doubt it’ll hurt their sales too much, though. It’s almost become a fashion trend among athletes. And as long as the big guys like Kobe and Shaq keep wearing them, I’m sure everyone else will, too.