The Lucid Dreamer: Wake up inside your dreams

5 10 2016

Forget Luciding… here is the first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign based around tACS electronic brain stimulation, EEG REM detection and the induction of lucid dreams.

lucid dreamer sleeping whilst wearing a tACS device on head

It seems like the back end of 2016 is looking fruitful for wearable technology and lucid dreaming in general. Already it looks like the Arenar iBand+ will be a funding success three times over.

The Aurora Dreamband by iWinks is now being publicly tested for the first time which all makes for a promising 2017, dream-wise for those that have already pre-ordered devices.

The company behind the project are Neuromodulation Technologies B.V. based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Founded post-2013 by Dr. André Keizer and Drs. Derk Mulder.

Dr. Keizer has a neuroscience background including publications and research whilst Drs. Mulder is the CEO of EEG Professionals B.V. Both have collaborated on recent tACS therapy projects.

In this current campaign, the creators are looking for €100,000 by Wednesday, November 16th 2016 in order to fund their ‘shared dream’.

With another 41 days to go, over 84k in Euros has already been raised by more than 200 backers.

lucid dreamer tACS under testing on user's forehead

Got paracetamol?

 

Background

The creators cite the usual lucid dream spiel which is the norm on Kickstarter here as part and parcel of the marketing campaign, yawn. However there is a revelation that the author only had one lucid dream after trying all the methods, masks and techniques known to man.

Clearly something had to be done… and quickly! In 2014 Ursula Voss (et al) provided what Neuromodulation Technologies B.V. needed – a stimulus, a ‘Eureka’ moment, the ‘scientific breakthrough’ in lucid dreaming based on increased 25 and 40 Hz gamma activity in the frontal lobes of the brain using Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS).

Gamma brain activity is often associated with consciousness and meditation for example.

The Voss paper described a study in which tACS was used to enhance gamma activity during REM sleep. As a result, lucidity was induced in 77% of the dreams. However the LuCid scale used by Voss has been critically received by people in lucid dream circles since, questioning the validity of the results themselves.

During early testing, via a Starstim 8-channel EEG/tACS machine, the creators apparently replicated the findings of the original 2014 Voss report which were done under laboratory conditions.

Note we have previously blogged about wearable’s that use this sort of technology like foc.us, or even claim to perhaps, as in the original v.1 LucidCatcher by Luciding Inc. Even so independent reviews on the actual effectiveness are like hen’s teeth.

 

About

The Lucid Dreamer EEG tACS device uses 6 disposable sticky electrodes priced at € 0.15 each. There is no headband. The box sticks to your forehead via the EEG electrodes built in.

lucid dreamer tACS prototype

An app is used to control your Lucid Dreamer hardware. A smartphone is required.

3 versions are offered, namely the ‘Essential’, ‘Pro’ and the all singing, all dancing ‘Connect’ rewards, currently priced at € 297, € 417 and € 497 respectfully.

For € 200 you have the chance to upgrade your model!

All models however have the 25/40 Hz protocol as standard. The Pro gives you chance to use different frequencies and higher stimulation currents (up to 500 μA) whilst the Connect gives you all these features, plus the chance to experiment with so-called shared dreaming or ‘dreaming together’.

lucid dreamer tacs pcb

Prototype PCB in case housing

 

Hardware Spec

EEG Amplifier

6-Axis Accelerometer and Gyrometer

tACS unit

Bluetooth for smartphone connection

Memory chip

 

Battery

Lasts 10+ hours

Rechargeable Lithium Polymer 3.7V 240mAh

Micro USB Chargeable

 

Summary

For the desperate, rich, or the brave experimenter this is yet another so-called lucid dream-inducing device to maybe play with. However unlike the original LaBerge NovaDreamer and other old school masks that rely on LED technology this involves applying electrical current to the user’s brain – outside the laboratory; therefore caution should exercised along with the fact that this tACS craze is on the back of a single scientific report only.

I might one day find a use for that 555 timer astable chip?

The creators do point out in their campaign disclaimer about non-recommendations for people who have pacemakers or medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy for example.

The creators state their device is perfectly safe. This is all well and good in a supervised laboratory with the correct montage(s) used. Even so – what about the long term risk?

 

P.S. Skip the shared dreaming option – it is a lot cheaper to be selfish in this case.

The Lucid Dreamer range, barring any delays or eventualities, will be manufactured and shipped post-April 2017.

 

(Images courtesy of Kickstarter and Luciddreamer.com)

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