Aladdin sane – another tACS pantomime

28 10 2016

Here is yet another lucid dream induction device to hit the crowdfunding market this year.

The prototype featured here is called the Aladdin Lucid Dream Stimulator by the aptly-named Aladdin Dreamer Inc. of Scottsdale Arizona, USA.

aladdin dream headband

The creators need at least $250,000 pledged by the end of the campaign on November 30th 2016. Shipment is expected a year later in autumn 2017.

Going on the current trend this seems ambitious, considering the lack of vital information.

 

About the Aladdin Dreamer

Their device has an EEG which monitors your brain activity, thus determining what state of sleep you are in. The control unit sends this information across wirelessly. This tracking information is then stored in an app on your smartphone. This information can be used to help you optimize your sleep health routine for example.

The app also communicates the optimum stimulation required to the headband wirelessly.

When REM is detected via the EEG electrode strip at the front (with the help of an algorithm), then a low current, low voltage signal is applied via suitable sited electrodes on the prefrontal cortex.

The basis for this, according to the creators is that the reasoning part of the brain is ‘activated’ by making the neurons fire ‘on’, just like when we are awake.

aladdin tacs headband layout

Headband construction concept

 

Hardware and software

The prototype is in 3 parts. These are the electrodes, the microprocessor and the headband.

The software app consists of a smart alarm/dream recall, and a sleep tracker function.

We would expect that Bluetooth 4.0 LE wireless technology is being used to communicate with the headband and smartphone.

Sadly there is no technical, if any information about the Aladdin device. The creators seem a bit coy in this department, even though there is a very good sales pitch espousing the virtues and benefit of lucid dreaming… yet again, as if we did not already know!

The video explaining the prototype is too small to watch properly. Even so not much is given away about the device itself.

For example there is nothing about battery life, app or software platforms, the front end amplifier used, or even the type of stimulation applied.

 

We can hazard a guess however, seeing that the creators have already alluded to a recent study which involves brain stimulation and lucid dreaming. This is most likely to be the 2014 study by Ursula Voss, et al, where the findings were published in Nature Neuroscience.

In fact we have already featured a similar device on Kickstarter known as the ‘Lucid Dreamer’ which was successfully funded to the tune of €134,450 only to be cancelled by the creator, who cited a later poor run of subject test results using tACS stimulation; even after initial optimism based on the same 2014 study.

We can gather from this that the Aladdin device will also use tACS as a form of brain stimulation, most probably at a nominal frequency of 40 Hz, using the same electrode montage set-up. The stimulation current is most likely to be similar, if not the same.

The app ‘protocol’ will be variations of the above parameters, presumably within ‘safe’ limits.

Most importantly there are no published tests so far, although the CEO and founder of Aladdin Inc. Craig Weiss claims to have already replicated the findings by Voss in a IRB-clinically approved study conducted earlier this year at Henry Ford Hospital.

 

Purchase and shipment

A $299 pledge will purchase a single Aladdin device, along with the smartphone app.

$449 for the ‘Power Dreamer’ gives you access to the beta development program.

Earliest shipment (worldwide) is expected from August 2017 for the beta model, otherwise you are looking at an estimated October 2017 date at least.

One important thing – due to lack of on site information we can only assume that a smartphone is required (at an extra cost) in order to use the Aladdin Dreamer, until advised otherwise by the creators themselves.

aladdin dreamer logo

 

The team

Aladdin Dreamer Inc. consists of the following personnel, namely:

Craig Weiss, Founder, President, and CEO at Aladdin Dreamer, Inc.

John Shambroom, Acting Chief Scientist.

Chris Drake, PhD. Scientific Advisory Board.

Dan Liebermann, M.D. Scientific Advisory Board.

Joshua Klein, M.D. PhD. Scientific Advisory Board.

 

Risks and challenges

Even if this prototype is funded on Kickstarter, it should be noted that there can be unforeseen risks for example in manufacturing or quality control issues, therefore adding extra costs, or delays to the whole project overall.

 

(All images courtesy of Kickstarter/Aladdin Dreamer.com)

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