Many sports-enthusiasts may have recently noticed stars like Kobe Bryant, David Beckham and Maurico "Shogun" Rua wearing bracelets with small metal medallions built in while on the court, on the field or in the ring.
There are at least two brands of these devices out on the market currently, the Power Balance and the Ampli5, but many are beginning to question whether they have any significant impact on performance beyond the placebo effect.
Tampa Bay Online recently published an article which states that there is little scientific evidence that the accessories work.
"While we have received testimonials and responses from around the world about how Power Balance has helped people, there is no assurance it can work for everyone," said company spokesman Adam Selwyn, quoted by the news source.
Other experts who were interviewed suggested that the positive effects that were reported during product testing may have been due to the mental effect of wearing the bracelets, a slight edge that may actually make a difference in competition.
Yahoo! Sports reports that belief that a product may work can be powerful, and provide positive results despite a lack of physiological effect. However, writer Chris Chase concludes that by admitting that the power of the Power Balance lies purely in belief, the company may be shooting itself in the foot as consumers catch on.