This device, called the PediSedate, was invented to calm kids down before a scary medical procedure. The helmet connects to a GameBoy that the child can play while a mouthpiece slowly blows nitrous oxide gas into the child's face.
The helmet also monitor's the child's respiration and oxygenation to be sure he or she is safe - as well as not getting too high. Here's what the manufacturer has to say:
PediSedate is a medical device consisting of a colorful, toy-like headset that connects to a game component such as the Nintendo Game Boy system or a portable CD player. Once the child places it on his or her head and swings the snorkel down from its resting place atop the head, PediSedate transparently monitors respiratory function and distributes nitrous oxide, an anesthetic gas. The child comfortably becomes sedated while playing with a Nintendo Game Boy system or listening to music. This dramatically improves the hospital or dental experience for the child, parents and healthcare providers.
The result is a system that provides a calming influence over the children, monitors the child continuously, allows the procedure to be performed by less skilled personnel, increases the speed with which procedures can be performed and makes the procedure a less stressful experience for all involved.
Invented by a doctor who had seen far too many kids freak out before medical and dental procedures, the PediSedate is intended as a medical tool. But I wonder whether it will suffer from the same prescription creep that Ritalin did, and start finding its way into classrooms where kids "get scared" before school.
Something about the PediSedate logo is also a little unsettling. Did I see this on the wall in the Dollhouse, by any chance? Or maybe in one of the movie versions of Brave New World?