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May 3, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Dream:ON, a new iPhone app, aims to manipulate people’s dreams through personalized dream themes that influence the subconscious.
Psychologist Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire released his invention at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April. Wiseman partnered with app developer YUZA and manufactured the app to monitor people’s sleeping patterns and give them the ability to create dreams using “soundscapes.”
Compatible with: iPhone IOS 5
The soundscape starts when the app notices a lack of motion on the bed, an indication of REM sleep and dreaming. The noises then supposedly influence the subconscious and increase the chance of lucid dreaming, or dreaming in which people are conscious that they are dreaming. The app comes with four free soundscapes: A Trip to Tokyo, Peaceful Garden, Into the City and Wild West — the last soundscape entails a shootout at a Western saloon. To start, users place their iPhone next to their sleepy heads.
Before trying out this dream machine, make sure to sleep on a spring mattress alone. The app will not work on foam mattresses, which do not move like spring mattresses. Also, the unconscious movement of a sleeping partner will corrupt the results.
A programmed alarm wakes dreamers, who have the option of journaling their dreams for submission to the Dream Bank, a collection of recorded dreams that Wiseman and other scientists will use as data in their research.
Users can also post their dreams to their social media accounts. If a friend or family member appeared in the dream, users can tag them on Facebook or Twitter. Tagging people in your dreams — like the crush who said, “Yes, I like you, too,” or that insufferable co-worker you finally socked in the face — isn’t the best idea. In fact, tagging any real-life friends might be flat-out creepy.
The results vary. Sometimes the app does not collect enough data to begin the soundscape because the sleepers either tossed and turned all night, or they were not asleep long enough for the app to activate. The app is an intriguing concept, but you’ll have to try it out to determine if it works for you. Sweet dreams, readers.