Possibly the trippiest Kickstarter we've ever seen.
Want to do fulfil every crazy, daring and intimate fantasy you’ve ever dreamed of – minus the potentially life-threatening/embarrassing consequences? Then you need to start lucid dreaming. And as seems to be the case with most of our wildest dreams these days, there happens to be a gadget for that.
Currently raking in funding in the birthplace of every wacky startup, Kickstarter, The Lucid Dreamer is a device that sits on your forehead while you sleep to actually induce you into a state of lucid dreaming.
If the device works as it should, your body will stay asleep but your subconscious mind will wake up, letting you fly over deserts with giant bird wings, share a bed with 1970s John Travolta, be the leader of a wolf pack, or whatever floats your weird old boat.
If you know anything about lucid dreaming, you’ll be aware that it can take months – even years – of practice to master the art of “waking up” while you’re asleep. Exercises to train your brain into lucid dreaming include regular reality checks during the day to make sure you’re definitely awake, and regular dream logging. That’s why The Lucid Dreamer – if it works – would be insanely cool.
So how does it work? It uses a type of electrical stimulation called tACS (Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation) to wake up your brain during the REM stage of sleep – the one when you’re dreaming. According to research, a very specific type of brain activity called “gamma activity” is present in your brain’s frontal lobes during lucid dreaming, and tACS is widely known to enhance that gamma activity.
If the mention of electrical stimulation freaks you out, fret not. tACS is completely safe and harmless, and not to be confused with electric shock therapy, which is 100% dangerous.
To use The Lucid Dreamer, you just have to attach some tiny electrodes to the device and place it carefully on your forehead. With an app on your phone, you can customise settings like stimulation intensity, frequency and duration, and then you’re pretty much ready to go to sleep and start dreaming. The device will detect when you’re in the REM phase and kick in instantly. Awesome.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that it’s way too good to be true, but its makers sound pretty certain they’ve hacked lucid dreaming. As with any mind-meddling tech, I guess it’s down to the individual how well it works. Maybe some users will have to accompany The Lucid Dreamer with some of the lucid dreaming techniques to make it truly effective.
It’s relatively early days for The Lucid Dreamer on Kickstarter, but it has already forked in a hefty portion of its funding goal from backers desperate to dream lucidly. If you want to pre-order yourself the device, you’re looking at a pretty €297 (around £256) for the privilege. Worldwide shipping is set for April 2017 if the campaign is successful.