The beads are in use by couple still I believe. I ran some Swampers with the Airsoft beads that many offroaders use instead of the more expensive ceramic. They did ok. Not as well as traditional balancing. I would NOT recommend them to those not in need of finding a way to balance an excessively large or a used tire. The balance can be knocked off by potholes and road hazards and can induce death wobble in certain situations. The right ratio is needed and if not found, you can lose your balance in the corner and it is not regained until you slow way down. I have had direct experience with several people that have tried them and switched to trad balance methods and know some that love them and swear by em. That all said...I went with trad balance on my current tires, but if I end up finding another set of used 35s for my other wheels, I will try the beads again.
I have never seen anything about them improving the life of a tire.
There are these
and I would pick up a set if I had the extra money cause they could possibly the last balnce you ever got.... But I do not know anyone that has actually tried them.