The craziest stuff can happen while you’re dreaming and it can get even crazier when you are able to control those dreams. But lucid dreaming is not easy to achieve. The new Dutch smash hit on Kickstarter might be able to change that. The iBand+ is a headband that measures brainwaves and notifies you when you are dreaming. So you can take control. Or you can get, as the creators of the headband call it: the best possible VR experience. Right on.
1000% of Kickstarter goal
The iBand+ was aiming for €50.000 in crowdfunding money. But with 15 days left, they’ve already got the support of over 2700 backers. Currently the amount of money they’ve raised is close to €500.000. Raising 1000% on Kickstarter is not bad, not bad at all. Backers can pre-order the headband for €149, delivery is scheduled for July next year.
Realize you’re dreaming
An important part of the trick to induce lucid dreaming, is knowing when you are actually dreaming. You would say that walking down the street while the houses are melting and turning into chocolatefudge is a solid indicator of a dream. But if you’re in the middle of it, you have no idea and you just run with it. One proven way to bypass this, is to make a habit out of checking your watch roughly every 15 minutes. If this is firmly embedded in your routine, you know exactly how the watch works and what to expect in real life: if you check it, it will be roughly 15 minutes later than the last time you checked. If it suddenly three hours earlier, or 71 minutes past autumn on your watch, then – bam – you know you’re dreaming.
EEG and LED
The problem with this technique is, it takes a lot of practice to get it right. This iBand+ seems to do some of the heavy lifting for you. It can identify when you’re dreaming. The small EEG-device monitors the brainactivity. If you’re in the dreaming phase of your sleep cycle, it will start to flash LEDs in your eyes. Not bright enough to wake you up, but enough to notify you of what’s going on. So when the houses turn to chocolatefudge, you’ll also spot the flashing lights, making you aware of the fact that your dreaming. Thus allowing you to do whatever you’ve always wanted to do.
Developed in The Netherlands
This is at least the theory behind the headband. It is created bij Arenar, a Dutch startup founded by husband and wife Samir and Purva Raut. Both have over a decade of experience in both the hardware as well as the software world. They are backed by a small team of Dutch developers and designers. They’ve also added numerous other features to the headband. Speakers lull you to sleep or wake you up when it is time. An accompanying app lets you analyze your sleep cycles, providing several ways to improve your sleep.
But the iBand+ is not alone on the market and the idea is nothing new. There have been several similar headbands or sleepmasks, even on Kickstarter, with the same promises. And to be honest, they have a terrible track record so far. The LUCI headband got cancelled on Kickstarter after it was exposed as a scam. The Lucid Dreamer is currently running a Kickstarter campaign but the design of the device is as thoughtful as its name. Aurora from iWink was a success in 2014, but backers are still waiting for their product. There was even a similar device men had to put around their penis while sleeping, so it can detect REM sleep. Surprisingly enough this did not meet its crowdfundinggoals because come on.
Is this real life?
So even though there are numerous devices, lucid dreaming is still somewhat of a pipedream. The iBand+ promises to get it right. They certainly raised a substantial amount of money to get them started. Now it is time to proof themselves. Will they lull us all to an eventful sleep, or will we keep on dreaming about devices like this?