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About

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Lucid dreams are dreams in which you realize that you are dreaming. Being aware during a dream is a magical experience and it will also give you the opportunity to learn to control the content of a dream. Lucid dreaming is a natural phenomenon: About 20% of the population experience lucid dreams every month, however these usually happen accidentally. Some people take it upon themselves to practice for months (or even years) to increase the chance of lucid dreaming. The Lucid Dreamer induces lucid dreams directly, providing the starting point for exploring your dreamworld.

 

Think about it. Your body is asleep, but your consciousness is awake inside the dreamworld of your mind. The possibilities are…well…as limitless as your imagination! Your brain is the powerhouse of every sense you perceive – touch, taste, sight, smell and sound. When you have a lucid dream, these senses can be replicated almost perfectly – resulting in an immersive environment in which amazing new experiences can be unlocked!

  • You can go on exhilarating adventures; fly across brilliant landscapes, battle cyborg dinosaurs in space, explore the depths of the ocean as a mermaid, or have afternoon tea with Ghandi. You get the picture. 
  • Explore your most intimate fantasies (we did say ‘limitless’, didn’t we?)
  • Speak with your inner self through dream characters and gain valuable insights into your subconscious mind.
  • Practice any skill from public speaking, to playing guitar, to basketball – and actually get better at it in real life!
  • Play with your creativity. Your brain is an incredibly powerful creative tool – use this direct access to help write a song, develop a story, build structures and more!

 

There are many methods and techniques that have been developed to help ‘train’ people how to lucid dream. These techniques can take months or years of dedicated practice to master, and some people either give up too soon or never see results at all. But any successful lucid dreamer will tell you – the payoff is absolutely worth it. For years, I wanted to experience lucid dreaming for myself. I tried almost every trick in the book;

  • Light-emitting sleep masks 
  • Practicing the MILD technique and Reality Checks
  • Waking up at 4am, meditating for 30 mins and trying to fall asleep again.

The end result? One lucid dream in total, where I immediately woke up out of excitement. 

Looking at the scientific studies that were performed using these techniques, it clearly showed that I was not the only one for which these techniques were ineffective. For example: LaBerge et al. (1988) showed that on a given night, applying no techniques whatsoever meant that 4% of the people experienced a lucid dream. Applying a light-emitting sleep mask was effective in 5,5% of the people and combining a light-emitting sleep mask with MILD increased the chance of getting a lucid dream to 20%.  (for a detailed review see: Strumbrys et al., 2012).

This research shows that light-emitting REM sleep masks are not very useful if you don't combine them with cognitive exercises such as MILD.

I knew there had to be an easier way. In 2014, a seminal study was published (Voss et al., 2014) that described a way to induce a lucid dream safely and effectively. The more I looked into it, the more I was hooked. This was the technology that would later mold the foundation of the Lucid Dreamer and change the way we induce lucid dreams.  

Research has shown that a very specific type of brain activity, called ‘gamma activity’, is present in the frontal lobes during lucid dreams. We know that this gamma activity is associated with consciousness. We also know that there is a well-documented method of enhancing gamma activity in the brain called tACS.

Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) is a form of mild electrical stimulation of the brain (not to be confused with electric shock therapy). It has been used as a research tool for many years and shown to be very safe

The Voss paper described a study in which tACS was used to enhance gamma activity during REM sleep. As a result, lucidity was induced in 77% of the dreams.

In order to make this lucid dream-inducing technology available to a broader public, we needed to create a wearable tACS device that could do two things; 

1) Automatically and accurately detect the onset of REM sleep 
2) Apply tACS immediately after REM sleep is detected 

And that’s exactly what we did. In order to test the proof of principle, we used the StarStim EEG / tACS device.  

The StarStim - capable of EEG measurement and tACS stimulation
The StarStim - capable of EEG measurement and tACS stimulation

UPDATE 10/17/2016: The Lucid Dreamer will also have the ability to apply light and audio stimulation during a dream. Light flashes and audio stimulation are long-known methods for increasing the possibility for getting a lucid dream. Rhythmic light flashes and audio signals can also be used for neural entrainment, which is another way of altering neural oscillations. The Lucid Dreamer supports neural entrainment protocols that can be triggered at the onset of a dream and altering neural oscillations in the visual and auditory cortex. Light and audio stimulation during a dream has shown to be effective when used combination with cognitive exercises known as ‘Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams’ or ‘MILD’. The Lucid Dreamer App implements an innovative MILD training program.  

To summarize: The Lucid Dreamer implements old and new techniques that are known to induce lucid dreams, provides the possibility to flexibly combine these techniques and also adds new innovative approaches to REM detection, tACS, light/audio stimulation and cognitive exercises.

One of the biggest challenges we faced in the beginning was finding a reliable method to detect REM sleep. First we tried electro-oculogram (EOG), which measures electrical changes due to eye movements.

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However, after several nights of testing we determined the EOG method to be inaccurate. Since eye movements only occur during dreams 35% of the time, detecting eye movements was not accurate enough for us. So it was back to the drawing board. Without reliably detecting the onset of REM sleep, the Lucid Dreamer wouldn’t work.

Fortunately we came across some new developments in the realm of neuroscience literature showing that dreams can be much more accurately detected using the electrical signals coming from the brain. These signals can be measured using a EEG (electroencephalogram). Applying real-time analyses on this data enabled us to achieve an accuracy level of 85%.

Now that was something we could work with!

After implementing this new algorithm, we hit the jackpot. The first night immediately resulted in a lucid dream. 

We tested the Lucid Dreamer within our team (n=5). Lucidity was defined using a scientifically validated questionnaire called LuCiD. Being lucid does not mean you are in full control from the first moment in your dream. It means you have either a heightened sense of Insight, Dissociation or Control. We have found that over time the ability to control the content of a dream increased. Three out of five participants became lucid the first night. One participant became lucid on the second night and one participant on the third. The tests were done with the 40 Hz protocol from the Voss study. The Lucid Dreamer was set to start measuring after 3 AM. Each participant was stimulated two times per night. The number of nights with at least one lucid dream varied between participants. The maximum number was five out of seven nights (one participant) and the minimum was two out of seven nights (one participant).

Further testing indicates that people new to lucid dreaming have a harder time in getting full-blown lucid dreams right from the start. All report clear thought and emotions during dreams, better dream recall, heightened dissociation and even some degree of control. Insight is harder to reach for people who did not mind their dream world before. It’s fascinating that people can experience many factors that are associated with a lucid dream, but still keep ‘believing’ that the dream is real. It is therefore advised to use the MILD exercises in the Lucid Dreamer App in order to mentally prepare for lucid dreams. A well-rested brain is also vital for the Lucid Dreamer to work optimally.

Wearing an EEG cap is never very pleasant. Especially not to bed – they’re too warm and uncomfortable for regular use. When researching the comments sections of previously Kickstarted dream masks, we found that people tend to lose these masks during the night. These masks are also hard to clean with all the technology inside and would start to smell after a while. So, no masks or headbands allowed, then!

Instead, we found a better alternative. By using replaceable sticky electrodes to attach the Lucid Dreamer, we solved both of these problems. We tested this by creating a second prototype using the StarStim hardware and a 3D printer. Though bulky, it allowed us to test the device’s wearability at night. In the final design, we made it much sleeker and smaller: About the size of a match-box.

Functional Lucid Dreamer Prototype - Front
Functional Lucid Dreamer Prototype - Front

 

Functional Lucid Dreamer Prototype - back
Functional Lucid Dreamer Prototype - back

 

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Note that this in this video, the first, bulky Lucid Dreamer prototype is demonstrated. The final version is much smaller; about the size of a matchbox (as shown in the project video).

We teamed up with a technology and a design company in our region to create the design prototype of the Lucid Dreamer. Our goal was to create a device that could be worn comfortably during the night, regardless of the wearer’s head shape or size, without sacrificing the technology necessary to effectively induce lucid dreams.

 

Design prototype - front
Design prototype - front

 

Design prototype - back
Design prototype - back

The image below shows the functional prototype and the design prototype. The design prototype is much smaller and lighter then the functional prototype. The PCB was created based on the feasibility study done by Metatronics (http://www.metatronics.nl) to see how small we could make the Lucid Dreamer. This design prototype will be finished in November after which the production prototype will be made.  

Lucid Dreamer Prototypes
Lucid Dreamer Prototypes

 

PCB design
PCB design

Hardware Specs

  • Built-In Tech 

    • EEG Amplifier
    • 6 Axis Accelerometer and Gyrometer
    • tACS unit
    • Bluetooth chip for smartphone connection
    • Memory chip 
    Battery

    • Lasts 10+ hours
    • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer 3.7V 240mAh
    • Micro USB Chargeable 

    Package Includes

    • Lucid Dreamer Device
    • Micro USB Cable
    • Starter set of Lucid Dreamer Electrodes (150)  

     

    Electrodes

    The Lucid Dreamer uses disposable, sticky electrodes. Simply attach the electrodes to the device, remove the protective covering and stick the electrodes to the designated places on your forehead and behind your ears.

    The electrodes contain a highly conductive gel core, enabling high-quality recordings and efficient stimulation. They also serve to attach the device snuggly against your head, eliminating the need for an uncomfortable and unstable headband.

    Each use requires 6 electrodes: 4 on your forehead and 1 each on your left and right mastoid (the thick bone behind your ears).

    Your Lucid Dreamer will come with 25 sets of electrodes (150 electrodes), giving you 25 nights to start with. New sets of disposable electrodes can be ordered through our website.

    The Lucid Dreamer App (currently in development) is used to control your Lucid Dreamer device, build your personal dream profile and connect with the Lucid Dreamer community. The Lucid Dreamer App also implements an intuitive MILD training program. There are three versions to choose from:

    • Essential: Run the standard Insight (40Hz) and Control (25Hz) protocols on your Lucid Dreamer.  Explore the Features.  
    • Pro: Receive the standard protocols as well as the Protocol Builder, giving you the ability to experiment with different frequencies and durations of stimulation.  Explore the Features.
    • Connect: Get all the perks of Pro with the added ability to experiment with dream sharing. Become part of a crowd research project into mutual dreaming, a phenomenon that some lucid dreaming experts have claimed to accomplish. Explore the Features.

     

    Lucid dreaming is a remarkable phenomenon that has puzzled and amazed mankind for centuries. Our mission is to enable more people to experience this amazing ability.

    Research into lucid dreaming is still in its infancy – the subject of dream control especially. We feel that science has merely scratched the surface of what lucid dreaming has to offer the world, and would like to invite you to be an essential part of the largest lucid dream research program ever known! 

    By having a large group of people safely experimenting with customized stimulation protocols and sharing their experiences, we hope to further lucid dreaming induction and dream control research. With the Lucid Dreamer Pro package, you can become a home researcher by making your own custom protocols. Share your findings with other users through the Lucid Dreamer app, have the community test your protocol and watch it rise in popularity in the Protocol Portal. 

    As more people contribute, the most successful (or interesting) stimulation protocols will surface for the whole community to download and experience. 

    If you choose the get Lucid Dreamer Essential for now – don’t worry! You can always upgrade to Pro or Connect later on to benefit from the best protocols. 

    Become part of a lucid dreaming research community by backing our project!

    Is mutual dreaming possible? Given the right circumstances, can two people have the same dream at the same time? The modern scientific stance would be that such a thing is impossible; a dream is a completely private universe created by your brain.

    However, many experienced lucid dreamers and those who have had ‘out of body experiences’ would disagree. There’ve been numerous anecdotal reports of mutual dreaming, with varying degrees of intensity. Some even say that they meet in dreams on a regular basis. Since many people also say that dream control is impossible (and we know that it is in fact possible, having done it ourselves), it made us wonder. Can you really share a lucid dream?

    We figured, hey, there’s only one way to find out! Crowd research.

    The Lucid Dreamer Connect has all the functions of the Pro, with the addition of the Lucid Dream Together function. This allows users to connect with each other and synchronize their lucid dreams. 

    How does this work? When the Lucid Dreamer devices are linked through the app, they will monitor for the start a dream independently from each other. When the start of a dream is signaled in one user, the device will wait a predetermined period of time before a lucid dream is induced. If, during that period, the start of a dream is detected in the other user, lucid dream induction is synchronized. 

    The next morning, connected users can review whether they had a lucid dream together.

    If you’re interested in the concept of dream sharing, here are some more resources:

    Beyond Inception – Real Lucid Dream Encounters” by Maria Isabel Pita

    Is Mutual Dreaming Possible? – World of Lucid Dreaming

    The use of the Lucid Dreamer is not recommended for the following conditions:

    • Presence of electronic implants (such as pacemakers)
    • People under the age of 18
    • Pregnancy
    The use of the Lucid Dreamer is also not recommended for severe neurological/psychiatric disorders such as:

    • Epilepsy
    • Severe depression
    • Schizophrenia
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Psychoses
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Brain tumors
    Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation has never shown to result in serious adverse effects for the above categories. Also, the intensity of the currents used by the Lucid Dreamer has no harmful effect on brain tissue and a very limited after-effect on brain activity. The recommendations stated above can be seen as a precaution for vulnerable groups in which the use of the Lucid Dreamer has not yet explicitly been scientifically tested and deemed safe.

     

     

    Here are some other helpful resources on the topic of lucid dreaming and the Lucid Dreamer device:

    Lucid Dreamer FAQs – Have questions? We might already have an answer! Take a look at our FAQ, and email us if your question isn’t listed.

    Lucid Dreaming Facts and Dream Control Tips – A helpful page of our website about lucid dreaming and how to get better control. 

    Benefits of Lucid Dreaming – A more in-depth look at the benefits of lucid dreaming.

    World of Lucid Dreaming Forum – A community of lucid dreamers talking about everything from tips to the paranormal to sleep disorders. 

     

     

 

Risks and challenges

Due to the technological nature of our project unforeseen problems in may arise. Working with professional partners in our region we are confident that we can keep these bumps to a minimum.

The Lucid Dreamer shall have a CE marking. It will be certified according to “2004/108/EC: R&TTE Directive” or to the latest version of this directive. Furthermore the Lucid Dreamer shall be certified according to “EN60601-1-2: Medical electrical equipment - Part 1: General requirements for basic safety and essential performance”. Finally it will be Bluetooth certified.

We have taken time into calculation for these different certifications but as you can imagine it's not entirely up to us.

We will regularly update you on our progress and are eager to get feedback from you !

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    The Lucid Dreamer Pro

    Go for it ! You are about to order The Lucid Dreamer Pro. It offers you both the standard insight (40Hz) and control (25 Hz) protocol and the Protocol Builder. The Protocol Builder allows you to make your own custom protocols. You can experiment combining 25 Hz and 40 Hz for example or vary the intensity and duration of the stimulation.

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    Lucid Dreamer Connect

    Why not dream dreams together? Meet your lover or a friend in dream space ! You would not be the first one to pull that off. It offers you both the standard insight (40Hz) and control (25 Hz) protocol, the Protocol Builder and access to the Lucid Dream Together Portal. The Lucid Dream Together Portal allows you to connect with a Dream friend. If you both agree to try to dream together, your Lucid Dreamer will try to match the time of stimulation with your Dream Friend so you can have a lucid dream together.

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    The Lucid Dreamer Connect - DUO Pack

    Why not dream dreams together? Meet your lover or a friend in dream space ! You would not be the first one to pull that off. It offers you both the standard insight (40Hz) and control (25 Hz) protocol and the Protocol Builder. The protocol builder allows you to make your own custom protocols. You can experiment combining 25 Hz and 40 Hz for example or vary the intensity and duration of the stimulation.

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    The Lucid Dreamer Connect - Tribe Pack

    Are you part of a group that is into Lucid Dreaming? Give human consciousness a boost and bring it to the next level by experimenting with Lucid Dreaming in groups. You receive 10 Lucid Dreamer Connect's to share.

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Funding period

- (50 days)