What Are Holographic Wristbands?

G. Wiesen

Holographic wristbands are basically bracelets worn around a person’s wrist that include a holographic or lenticular image on them. This image can take a number of different forms, though they are usually designed as decoration or jewelry for children who wear the wristbands for aesthetic reasons. There are also some holographic wristbands that have been developed and marketed as products to increase or improve a person’s natural balance and energy levels. Such products, however, are fairly untested by scientific or medical communities, and those tests that have been performed seem to indicate such products work through the placebo effect.

Woman holding a disc
Woman holding a disc

Many of the most common holographic wristbands do not even include holographic technology. A hologram is typically created through a process by which light is effectively recorded as it interferes with and comes in contact with an object. That object can then be re-created using that recording of light, essentially making an image that appears using light waves, much the same way an audio record creates impressions that can be used to re-create recorded audio waves. This type of holography can be quite expensive and difficult to create, so many holographic wristbands do not use true holograms.

Instead, holographic wristbands often use lenticular images, but are still advertised as holographic simply because many people are unfamiliar with the term “lenticular.” A lenticular image is created by interlacing two images, then placing small lenses over the images that alter which image can be seen depending on the point of view or angle at which the image is viewed. This allows a lenticular image to have one appearance from one angle, and seem to change appearance as it is viewed from a different angle. Such lenticular imagery is often used on holographic wristbands that seem to change color or pattern as they are moved, though some wristbands can include small holographic stickers or images as well.

Some holographic wristbands are marketed as a way for people to increase their balance or natural energy. These types of wristbands are often advertised on television, through the Internet, and at personal sales and demonstrations. The manufacturers of these wristbands claim different ways in which the beneficial effects are created, sometimes stating that resonance frequencies captured by a holographic medium are placed on the wristband.

There is little scientific or medical evidence to support the claims of the manufacturers of such holographic wristbands. What few experiments have been conducted seem to indicate that any positive effects from wearing these products are likely caused by the “placebo effect.” This is an effect that occurs when someone believes he or she will experience positive or negative effects from an otherwise innocuous object, and then experiences those expected results due to that expectation rather than any external cause.

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