Up the P-N junction

9 10 2014

It seems to me like lucid dream mask technology is akin to waiting for the proverbial London bus where nothing turns up for ages, and then all of a sudden out of the blue, two or three show up in one go.

Up the Junction picture

After Andrzej Krajewski

Everybody is still waiting for the eagerly awaited NovaDreamer 2 from the Lucidity Institute, otherwise aptly known as the N2D2 which is overdue for release.

The Aurora by iWinks LLC has also overrun. It is due to be beta tested still.

However there are at least three new kids on the block, all trying to muscle in on the void left by Laberge and his associates.

The end of September, beginning of October 2014 saw the launch of two lucid dream-related projects on Kickstarter alone, whilst there is also a headband prototype with its own Facebook publicity page and website launched earlier this year back in July. Read the rest of this entry »

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Project Aurora – update

10 01 2014
Aurora dream-enhancing headband

Aurora: The dream-enhancing headband

IWinks, the company behind the Aurora dream-enhancing headband have made an exciting announcement on their official Kickstarter home page today regarding an important upgrade to its future product.

According to the makers behind the project, you will no longer require the use of a smartphone or computer to use it, although they do state that the Aurora app is necessary to set up the smart alarm clock, adjust light and sound cues, intensity levels and other fun, user-specific features.

This is quite a big bold step which is likely to fuel more interest from likely backers who may have been sitting on the fence. Previously the embedded solution had only been offered as a $300k ‘stretch goal’ target.

Clearly the goalposts have been moved in the backers favour at last.

Other features will include greater battery life (100 times more efficient relative to any prototype claimed.)

Greater LED control for more dazzling light effects.

A developer will able to utilize sleep stage, biosense, and accelerometer data with the onboard computer microprocessor in the headband package.

There are only 11 days to go for the Kickstarter campaign itself. The $90k funding goal has already been reached as we have already pointed out in our earlier blog post.

 Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

How the Aurora might be used to control nightmares

We at LDA cannot wait to see one of these headbands come to fruition as according to the claims so far, there is nothing out there to compete with it, seeing there is no news still regarding the much anticipated and overdue Novadreamer 2 from the Lucidity Institute.

Some readers may remember the NeuroDreamer sleep mask by Mitch Altman which was funded on Kickstarter back in July 2012.

The NeuroDreamer however is a brain ‘entrainment’ device which relies on binaural beats, synchronised light and sounds, etc. rather than REM detection, although the mask could be used for meditation and lucid dream induction.

We hope project Aurora (like its namesake) is not a black project ‘in the air’ so to speak.

See the feature on Mashable.com

Read more about the Kickstarter upgrade here





The new Aurora headband – is it a rare magical sight, or a load of Borealis?

27 12 2013
The Aurora headband

The Aurora headband

Currently there is a project on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding website which we at Lucid Dream Art find quite fascinating.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iwinks/the-aurora-dream-enhancing-headband

The Aurora is a ‘smart’ headband device (currently a prototype) which is worn on the head to track your sleep patterns using a clever algorithm.

It will play personalized lights and sounds during REM to help the user have ‘lucid’ dreams.

It can also act as a ‘smart’ alarm clock.

On Boxing Day 2013, iWinks LLC, the Californian-based team behind the Aurora project, along with the backers achieved the primary goal of $90,000 so the project is now officially funded.

 

Background

A lucid dream is a dream where a person realises they are dreaming whilst in a dream. This type of technology found in the Aurora headband is relatively unique with the combination of detection techniques employed.

It was Stephen LaBerge and his team at the Lucidity Institute who created the original NovaDreamer which relied on IR sensor LED technology to detect and flash bright red lights during REM periods back in the early 1990’s.

All these devices even the recent ones like the REMEE mask that uses a timer to flash the lights, rely on the creation of dream signs or ‘cues’ whilst the dream is happening (DILD.)

This is also known as EILD – External Induced Lucid Dream, where a device has been used to artificially been used to create the stimulus.

 

The People

The people behind the Aurora iWinks project are:

Daniel Schoonover – Founder and Hardware Engineer

Andrew Smiley – Founder and Software Engineer

Jack Payne – Creative Solutions

Danny Anderson – Application Developer

 

Newer Technology

The Aurora relies on brainwave detection (EEG,) motion detection (an Accelerometer,) eye-movement detection (EOG) along with measuring software along with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology for low power consumption and interfacing to other devices like your smartphone or computer-related device.

The app created by iWinks will allow the user to customise their own dreamsigns and cues with unlimited possibilities.

Three electrodes are used in the headband to detect the signals. The EEG used in the headband uses the Neurosky based amplifier chip.

This makes it unique and different to the earlier dream masks mentioned above.

 

Open API

According to iWinks, the headband will be programmable. The sensor readings and sleep-stage algorithm data will be accessible.

This opens up other possibilities including Biofeedback and Meditation uses for example.

This API will be known as The Open Sleep platform, giving use to code libraries, TCP/IP and WebSocket support.

 

The future

There is a $300k current stretch goal for the end of January 2014. This goal would mean that no smartphone would be needed as the algorithm would be embedded in the Aurora headband itself.

Manufacturing specifications will be finalized, and by spring 2014 the beta models will roll out for developers to test and evaluate.

The official shipment is currently in June 2014.

A conservative $175 per unit is quoted on the iWinks Kickstarter Home page, although savvy purchasers (by backing) can still buy an Aurora at a limited discounted ‘later bird special’ price of *$160 plus $25 USD shipping cost (if ordering outside of the USA.)

Other backing support pledges start from a $1 bumper sticker, an iWinks t-shirt, a discounted Aurora, a chance to help with Aurora beta, etc. right up to the $10k ‘Oneironaut Extraordinaire’ (Full Monty) pledge package.

 

Risks

According to the iWinks Kickstarter Home page, the Aurora will need more sleep data to hone and tweak the REM-detection algorithm.

Also there would be limitations with ‘older’ platforms in using the newer Bluetooth 4.0 plus there would be cross-platform limitations due to the different operating systems and technology standards in use currently.

It would be interesting to see how comfortable the headband is, plus if there is any movement whilst wearing it in bed which might adversely affect performance?

We are particularly ‘cock-a-hoop’ at seeing the disclaimer about ‘lucid dreaming being hard!’

We second that motion bro!

*(Current price and availability as of Dec 27th 2013)

Roll on $300k… ?