What would you do if you could control your dreams? It is a question that has tantalized sages and philosophers for ages. Now, two hip millennials from Brooklyn have created a mask that will put you in the driver’s seat of your own lucid dream.
Sounds too good to be true? Well Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan, the 30-year-old founders of Bitbanger Labs, claim that Remee is “the world’s first “comfortable affordable, lucid dreaming mask.”
They say “the key to lucid dreaming is recognizing when you’re dreaming.”
While asleep, a person will usually cycle through the five stages of sleep multiple times, with the REM (rapid eye movement) stages getting progressively longer.
Working on an adjustable time delay, six red LED lights embedded in the mask “glow, sweep and blink” over one’s eyelids. The duo claims that once a sleeper slips from non-REM to REM sleep (where dreams usually occur) a microcontroller will flash a series of customizable light patterns for 15 to 20 seconds, with a second delay of 15 minutes between each signal.
As the lights bleed into your dream, they present a “perfect chance to become lucid.”
They say that while not bright enough to wake the user up, the lights will appear as anomalies in a person’s dreams, alerting the sleeper that they are dreaming.
“You may find yourself sitting at an outdoor bistro with Ellen Page and suddenly a soft pattern of red lights appears in your field of vision. Back and forth. Back and forth. ‘That looks familiar’. You think. Wait. Remee! That's Remee! I'm dreaming! This is a dream!’” the inventors gush on their site.
In order not to be encumbered with a control panel or other buttons, Remee’s settings can be customized online.
The visionary techies had hoped to raise $35,000 dollars for the project via the crowd funding website Kickstarter. Far exceeding their expectations, they have already nabbed $572,891 from 6,557 pledges.
While, not the first mask of its kind, at $95 it is certainly the most affordable. A similar mask called the NovaDreamer was released in 1993, though even a second-hand model could set you back over $600.
And compared to Google’s augmented reality Project Glass, half a dozen blinking lights does not exactly seem like the cutting edge of technology.
What is more, a slew of lucid dreaming smart phone apps which similarly promise to enhance and manipulate dreams.
As with similar masks, Remee cannot guarantee seamless lucid dreams with the blink of a light. But if the mask actually delivers on its promise, then the (vanilla) sky may no longer be the limit.