May 21, 2012
Dream Machine Helps Sleepers Control Their Journeys
Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com
Ever dreamt that you were attempting to run from someone, but couldn't get away and were actually running in place? Well, a new sleeping mask may see to it that you are able to escape, scot-free, from now on.Scientists have developed a sleeping mask, known as Remee, that allows people to control their own dream.
Remee, which is billed as a special REM enhancing device, helps steer people into dreaming by making the brain aware that it is dreaming.
The project was placed on the crowd funding website Kickstarter with the goal of raising $35,000. Now, the researchers have seen more than 6,500 people pledge $572,891 to fund the sleeping device.
According to the Kickstart webpage, the project was able to raise its funding in just three days.
Sleep stages are divided into two main categories, including non-REM and REM sleep. People go back and forth between these sleep stages through the night.
Remee notices the longer REM stages and "enters" the dream through flashing lights. The device waits for four to five hours for the sleeper to get into heavy REM stages before its red lights turn on.
Once the pattern of lights kick on, it signals the brain that it is dreaming, which enables the dreamer to determine what happens next in their dream.
The scientists set up a website that allows Remee users to adjust setups like when to start the light sequence and when to repeat it. The intensity of the lights can be changed as well.
Remee will display patterns for 15 to 20 seconds, with a second delay of 15 minutes between each signal.
The scientists behind the dream creation began working on the mask last February after reading studies focusing on lucid dreams that were conducted at Stanford University in the 1980s.
Early devices were bulky and came with a price tag of $1,000, according to what Remee inventor Duncan Frazier told Mail Online.
Frazier and fellow inventor Steven McGuigan developed a mask that works on a small 3-volt coin cell battery, and are available in five color options for $95.
The inventor told Mail Online that they have received 7,000 orders for the dream machines so far, most of them coming from buyers in Australia, Italy and Spain.
He said that he uses his Remee several times a week, but admitted that he does not reach the state of liquidity every time.
Frazier also said that the inventors have not received any reports of problems associated with the mask so far, and that LED lights are not known to cause seizures.
Remee is not the first device aimed at trying to enable people to control their own dreams. Dream:ON, an iPhone app, is meant to do the same thing as Remee.
The iPhone app uses music to help dish out signals to the brain, allowing the dreamer to control the path of their sleep journey.
Dream:ON is interactive with researchers of the app as well, because it allows the user to makes notes after sleep that can be sent back to a database for future research.
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