iWinks v Arenar – The battle of the ‘bands’

15 09 2016

Yesterday I blogged about the new iBand+ crowdfunding campaign for a sleep tracking smart headband by Arenar, a Dutch team headed by Samir and Purva Raut based in Amsterdam.

i-bandit, dream robber

However it seems that this new kid on the block has muscled in on the turf of iWinks. The new iBand+ has ruffled quite a lot of feathers already if the comments at Kickstarter are anything to go by where it looks like the gloves are off. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




IWinks Aurora – The Zeo Sleep Monitor incarnate?

6 03 2015

Earlier this year I made a post on this blog about the recent design changes to the Aurora dream-enhancing headband which included the size and layout of the pcb prototype.

Aurora pcb headband layout

However I must point out that I was not the first person to notice the similarities to the Zeo design – in particular in relation to the fabric electrodes and the clip on headband arrangement, as it had in fact been pointed out by one or two backers on the Kickstarter comments page here.

 

iWinks Aurora electrode pads

I must admit Manoko and co. do have a point. Read the rest of this entry »





Honey I shrunk the Aurora

26 11 2014

Anyone, whether a project backer or someone interested in lucid dreaming and associated technology who has been following the process of the Aurora, the dream-enhancing headband, apart from myself, could not fail to have noticed the delays in bringing the prototype to production.

Aurora dream without limits photo

This, so far has not proved too damaging. In fact it has only served to galvanise the people who have already made their pledges back in January 2014, considering the comment activity on Kickstarter.

The other reason is because after nearly one whole orbit of the home planet there is nothing yet on the market to rival it at present. Read the rest of this entry »





Home brew i-cup system

21 07 2014

A DIY eye dream mask hack idea for use with a web cam, cycle lights and LED sensors.

Basically there are numerous ideas and hacks out there in the public domain for eye masks which attempt to promote lucid dreaming mainly on Instructables or various other electronics-type blogs and forums, including the Kvasar dreammask for example.

A commercial lucid dream mask however can burn quite a hole in your wallet. Some like the original LaBerge ‘NovaDreamer’ are expensive and out of production, although the Lucidity Institute does have a Mark II mask version on the way, namely the N2D2.

Aurora printed circuit board

Aurora pcb courtesy of iWinks LLC

At the time of writing the Aurora by iWinks has finalized the pcb but is still awaiting beta and final production before release hopefully by the last quarter of 2014.

Remee dream enhancing mask

Remee photo courtesy of Bitbanger Labs LLC

The Remee itself, despite its name and a highly successful marketing campaign by Bitbanger Labs solely relies on clever timing and visual cues rather than any actual REM detection methods.

For more information on Project ‘DreamJacker’.





DreamNet: The programmable lucid dreaming headband

12 01 2014
Dream Net logo

The DreamNet logo

What have “What’s the frequency Kenneth?” and DreamNet the new lucid dream headband got in common?

Yes, you’ve got it… its R.E.M. Except we are not talking about the band, but rather the lucid dreaming headband; plus about the current trend which is currently rapid eye-movement detection.

Welcome to the party!

Synapse, the people behind their Kickstarter project are based in Los Angeles, California. They hope to raise $30k USD by February 19th 2014.

Bill Murphy the main person behind the project is the science correspondent for the Lucid Dream Experience magazine.

Bill is known in some circles as an onscreen TV personality. He is also an avid dream researcher who is a regular contributor to various magazines, blogs and radio interviews.

On the prototype headband currently 2 dry electrodes are used, which include the primary one at the front and one reference earlobe clip or mastoid point. This secondary electrode is used to reduce artifact noise from forehead muscle movements and electrical noise.

Neuro Sky ThinkGear AM chip

NeuroSky ThinkGear AM chip

The hardware is based primarily around the Neurosky ThinkGear Am chip, whilst the software interface is based around the Lucid Scribe open source project by Michael Paul Coder.

Michael himself is an expert in this field of software and lucid dreaming.

Indeed some readers might remember he was one of the first to recognise the possibility that the Luci dream-enhancing headband was a big scam back in November 2013.

Lucid Scribe can be run in REM detection mode where it will play an audio file for example.

It is also noted that in addition to EEG and REM detection that EMG muscle potentials, eye movements, etc. could be detected via Lucid Scribe software.

Software will run on iOS and Android platforms. DreamNet will connect to your Smartphone via Bluetooth LE.

The DreamNet headband is now in competition with the recently funded Aurora dream-enhancing headband.

Both use NeuroSky based technology, except the Aurora has all the hardware integrated in the headband itself. This is a major advantage providing size, weight and comfort issues are addressed.

Thus the Aurora can run independent of any computer or smartphone whereas the DreamNet cannot.

Currently there are 38 days to go. Synapse have already raised $2,078 USD of the $30k needed to fund the project.

Backers can buy a discounted DreamNet for $140 USD with $25 USD for shipping outside of the U.S. as a limited offer here.

Shipping of the units is expected in June 2014.

However for people simply wanting the obligatory t-shirt or a sticker then you might be a little bit disappointed.





NeuroOn – kickstarter

11 01 2014
The Neuro On sleep mask

The NeuroOn sleep mask

Touted as the world’s first sleep mask for polyphasic sleep.

Polyphasic sleep is where you use alternate sleep patterns which reduce your daily sleep time. When you break your sleep schedule into smaller parts during the day you can sleep less yet still feel refreshed as if you have slept a full monophasic term of 8 or more hours.

A person can achieve better rest and more sleep efficiency, including helping with workload, performance and even jetlag issues.

According to Wikipedia the term polyphasic sleep was first coined by the psychologist J.S. Szymanski early in the 20th Century.

Notable exponents include Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Nikola Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.

Some readers may remember the Smart Sleep app for polyphasic sleepers back in December 2013.

The SmartSleep team failed to reach their intended Kickstarter goal however.

The NeuroOn is a wearable sleep mask which measures your bio-signals which include, EEG – (electroencephalography,) muscle tension (EMG – electromyography) and eye movements EOG – (electrooculography.)

The signals are picked up by 3 forehead electrodes which are embedded in the mask. The outside of the mask is fully customizable.

One of the main features is the bio-amplifier which can measure in adverse conditions. The amplifier can switch between low and high amplitude signals.

The battery life is claimed to be at least a week without charging which is done via mini-usb.

The data is sent via wireless to a Bluetooth 4.0 LE Smartphone. The app itself can work out the best sleeping pattern for you.

For safety reasons the data is only transmitted when the mask is not on the face and when the mask is removed.

The NeuroOn will wake you up refreshed after your last REM phase based on measured data analysis which is collected.

Previous solutions relied only on accelerometer readings which tended to be less than precise. The NeuroOn claims to have the world’s first digital sleep-control system that provides accuracy close to professional polisomnographic clinics.

The people behind the project are San Francisco based Intelclinic.

The team consists of Kamil Adamczyk – CEO. Janusz Frączek – CTO hardware. Tomasz Kolodziejak – CFO. Krzysztof Chojnowski – coder. Robert Abramczyk – iOS developer.

 

Lucid dreaming

The NeuroOn can pinpoint the exact start of your REM phase. NeuroOn has technology that helps you induce lucid dreaming, whenever you want.

This is interesting because the home page refers to the device waking you up after your last REM phase, although I presume that is when the device is in the main polyphasic mode.

I mentioned about the iWinks Aurora headband in my blog yesterday having no competition regarding lucid dreaming. It appears however that it might have some after all, although the NeuroOn is being marketed primarily for polyphasic sleep uses.

Interestingly though, iWinks, the people behind the Aurora have stated that their headband device can be used for polyphasic sleep.

Maybe both these teams could partner up together and create a product for C.E.S. 2015 with their combined knowledge and expertise in this technology field.

Just our $00.02

The NeuroOn has already met its $100k target. Currently the project stands at $424,921 USD.  The mask for a limited amount is currently available for $185 USD as SMART SLEEP MASK – LAST MINUTE OFFER 2. Shipping is $25 USD outside of the U.S. Expected delivery is quoted as *March 2015.

A ‘last minute’ $165 offer is also mentioned on the homepage (still?) for backers.

*(Note that other delivery dates are mentioned on the Kickstarter home timeline page.)

Read more on the NeuroOn Kickstarter page here.





Luci in the sky… ?

27 12 2013

Readers may remember a project named Luci which realised nearly $400,000 CAD on the popular crowdfunding website known as Kickstarter back in November of this year.

The Luci headband

The Luci headband

It was a headband designed to be worn during sleep which would use EEG technology via an electrode used to detect REM and hence lucid dreaming, but it was pulled a few days before the deadline among strong rumours and allegations of it being a scam and a fraud.

For example photos used on their Kickstarter Home page had been changed, Photoshopped, etc.

This had culminated from a few ‘naysayers’ in the comments section, to a total suspicion of the total project, the people, and the company behind it all.

There was claim and counter-claim between the backers and the promoters, which got a bit acrimonious, although more photos or a new video of the device seen in use was not forthcoming which a lot of the backers wanted.

This maybe would in hindsight have settled the whole argument.

Instead during a crucial stage in the funding process, GXP decided to take a break and leave the office.

GXP Technologies (aka Caluka Group,) the people behind the project turned their back on the massive over-funding to reveal a last minute mysterious ‘backer’ who had turned up with the cash needed whilst GXP were on vacation.

It even made news on the Wall Street Journal.

It is a pity that the Luci headband debacle happened, although it should be pointed out that none of the original backers ever lost their pledges.

However it showed there is a market for such a device, albeit a genuine working one. Either that reason, or the sales spiel and the publicity machine in overdrive sold people on the idea of looking for an easy dream hack.

Over 1800 people still hope to receive a Luci headband for $150 CAD in February 2013 however!

They will have more chance of seeing pigs fly!

Where does that leave us?

Perhaps this has maybe spoilt the idea of crowdfunding and technology used to obtain access to your dreams for some, although a couple of new projects of the same genre (but more plausible perhaps) have come to the front recently; namely:

 

The NeuroDreamer sleep mask

 

The Aurora headband

 

Although the technology is becoming more readily available to us, we should note that it still takes effort on our part to remember and record our dreams, including our dreamsigns, with the aim of realization and awareness that comes with hard work and regular practice.

We wait with anticipation here at LDA to see what 2014 will bring?