Here is another Kickstarter crowdfunding venture that is based around wearable brainwave technology, sleep health and of course lucid dreaming.
Arenar, the Dutch-based company are primarily a husband and wife team consisting of Samir and Purva Raut from Amsterdam. Together they both have strong backgrounds in electronics engineering and software applications rather than in psychology or neuroscience.
The couple head a group of five members including model developers and designers including Eric van Doest, Bas Bruining and Roeland Rietsema.
The company behind the campaign page are looking to raise at least €50,000 by October 27th 2016. The minimum, but limited ‘Extended Early Bird’ pledge is now €139, increased from the original €129 pledge which jumps to €159 for the ’Kickstarter Special’.
Incidentally, if you have a mere 7k to spend then you can buy the Ali G. Mr. T gold plated 22 carat edition perhaps. A modest €5 will buy you a ‘Thank You’ from the company instead.
Currently to date, there are more than 100 backers with over 15,000 Euro raised so far, meaning that the campaign is well above the daily target with six weeks still left to run.
The iBand+ dream headband is a sleep tracker, an EEG and a smart alarm clock rolled into one. It is not to be confused with the Apple iBand concept or fitness band.
The now more expensive Aurora Dreamband by iWinks, which I have covered here previously on Lucid Dream Art is probably the nearest direct competition due to the overall features and similarity. Even the design (above) bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier Aurora mock-up.
The one major difference with the iBand+ headband when compared with the iWinks Aurora is that a smartphone is needed to use it, unlike the iWinks model which adds an extra hidden cost overall. Developers however may be able to work around this issue by making the unit standalone.
Both use a dry 3-electrode based EEG in the headband based on the Zeo model. However there are no details about the front end processor used in the Arenar prototype, whereas iWinks originally based their Aurora EEG around the popular NeuroSky chipset.
Like the Aurora, the iBand+ has wireless Bluetooth incorporated giving you the ability to sync and communicate with your smartphone via the app. This app, along with a software ‘learning’ algorithm monitors and acts on the information received via the EEG and the various sensors including, heart rate, temperature and body movement to detect when you are in a REM period.
Brainwaves and other sleep data can be recorded and analysed too.
This information received is used to play audio-visual cues via the pillow speakers (supplied) and the RGB LEDs to hopefully induce a lucid dream via the resulting anomalies generated in your scenery.
For example, you might see a bright headlight, certain music or sounds which triggers your awareness of the actual dream itself. This of course is providing the stimuli used are not strong enough to wake you up!
However, there is a gentle alarm feature built in if you do want to wake up in the morning refreshed.
One other difference from the iWinks model is the I.O.T. the ‘internet of things’. Arenar hope to exploit this area further where they envisage iBand+ technology could be used to communicate with devices in your own home. For example you could turn the lights off whilst asleep via the headband.
Developers would also have the chance to access the data in order to create their own bespoke ideas or experiences.
For the main reward, shipping to the U.S. is €10 and for all other countries is €15. Delivery is expected around July 2017, providing there are no unforeseen delays.
Dry EEG electrodes: no preparation, no adhesive gel.
Low noise EEG sensing: 50dB signal-to-noise ratio, high accuracy.
4 RGB LEDs: each producing a gamut of 16 million colours.
Body movement: 3D accelerometer.
Heart rate: optical sensor.
Body temperature: direct touch sensor with ADC.
Bluetooth wireless range: 10m/33 ft.
Charging via micro USB.
Thought controlled computing.
Gaming and entertainment.
Smart home integration.
Apart from the benefits, it should be pointed out that there are also risks associated with all crowdfunding projects as the makers may also have to rely on third parties for materials, manufacturing and production, etc.
2017 is set to be an exciting year which will hopefully see both iWinks and Arenar models released to the original backers and then later on it is hoped to the wider general public.
This is providing there are no delays, technical or production issues to either device.
It will be interesting to see from any future beta tests or user reviews from both camps. For example, is iWinks asleep or awake? Will the iBand plus, be a minus, or a simple non-plussed affair?
Only time will tell…?
If the Aurora crowdfunding campaign soap opera is anything to go by then it might be a long year or two for all involved, including us.
Let us know on our Lucid Dream Art Blog what you think? Especially if you have backed either, both or even a similar crowdfunded product based around the lucid induction theme or ilk.
(Photos courtesy of Kickstarter/Arenar)