Within the constantly evolving ‘universe’ of smart phone apps swirling around out there, anything imaginable is probably available for download. Looking to find the highest-rated Thai restaurant in your city? No problem; there’s an app for that. Wanna make sure the cabbie isn’t cheating you on the fare home from the airport? No problem; there’s an app for that. Are you playing ‘bartender’ at your best friend’s party and wanna know how to mix any cocktail in the world? No problem; there’s an app for that. Okay, let’s say you’d like to manipulate your dreams at night while sleeping? Yep, there’s an app for that one too now . . .
British psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire (who claims to be the most followed psychologist on Twitter) is looking to sweeten all of our dreaming experiences by helping us to create the ideal lucid trip with his new FREE app available exclusively for iPhone called Dream:ON.
Developed with the help of a crackerjack team of techies from a company called Yuza, Wiseman officially launched his new app at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in mid-April of this year. Pitched as the ultimate experiment which hopes to find out if it’s possible to give users more pleasant dreams, the Dream:ON app was downloaded 300,000 times during its first week alone. So far, more than 200,000 dreams have been reported back to the team since the launch on Tuesday April 10th, creating the largest dream database in history called the ‘DReam Bank’ . . . a database that’s sure to keep on growing. When all’s said and done, the data will be analyzed to find out if it’s possible for us to control our dreams.
Pretty cool, but how does this thing work anyway? Well, before going to bed you indicate the type of dream you would like to have and when you’d like to wake up. You then place your iPhone on your bed face down right next to you and go to sleep. Dream:ON then activates and begins monitoring your sleep pattern. Once the app senses that you’re dreaming it starts playing an audio soundscape (that you chose before hitting the sack) designed to evoke pleasant scenes within your subconscious mind like lying serenely on a beach or strolling through a tranquil garden. To ensure that you aren’t woken up before your chosen time, Dream:ON will adjust its volume accordingly.
Of course, there’s a few obvious downsides to participating in Professor Wiseman’s dream experiment: it might take awhile to incorporate the soundscape into your dreams, and you probably won’t get a full night’s sleep either, but that’s a small price to pay for the advancement of science right? Sweet dreams all.