The American startup Prophetic is developing a device that makes you aware of the fact that you are dreaming. During those lucid dreams you can partly or completely determine what happens.
Prophetic aims to combine a number of techniques to better understand human consciousness. It wants to do this by using machine learning and ultrasound, among other things, to develop the Halo: a device with which you can induce lucid dreams.
The Halo is a ring-shaped brain scanner that must be worn while sleeping. When it detects that you are entering the REM phase during your sleep, the phase in which you dream, you must become aware of the fact that you are dreaming. Once you are lucid, the Halo will ‘stabilize’ your lucid dream to make it as long as possible.
‘Ultimate VR experience’
According to Prophetic CEO Eric Wollberg, who spoke to Vice, intentionally inducing lucid dreaming is “the ultimate VR experience.” For example, if you have full control over a dream, you can fly or talk to people in your dream.
But recreation is not the main reason Prophetic develops the Halo. The technology can be used to help heal trauma, promote creativity and even learn new skills, among other things. Wesley Louis Berry III, the company’s CTO, told Vice. “The list of benefits of lucid dreaming is long.”
Prophetic hopes to make Halo commercially available by 2025. To develop the device, the company is collaborating with the Donders Institute, a research center at Radboud University that focuses on the brain, cognition and behavior.
What are lucid dreams?
During lucid dreaming you are aware that you are dreaming. This awareness allows you to take control of your dreams, actively participate in and sometimes even direct the course of the dream.
There are several methods to induce lucid dreams. A popular approach is to keep a dream journal, in which people regularly write down their dreams to recognize patterns and signs that can help recognize dreams while sleeping.
Reality checks are also essential: people can regularly ask themselves questions during the day such as “Am I dreaming?” and performing reality checks, such as checking digital clocks or trying to walk through walls. This can create the habit of performing these checks even in dreams, creating awareness that one is dreaming.
Other techniques include meditation, visualizations, and certain sleep schedules, such as the Wake-Back-to-Bed method, which involves waking up briefly and then falling back asleep with the intention of lucid dreaming.
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