This project's funding goal was not reached on February 19, 2014.
About this project
Dream recall remains as a challenge for many lucid and non-lucid dreamers. There are a number of techniques people can use with the goal of becoming self aware from within a dream, and
is designed to recognize the range of brainwave frequencies associated with dreaming. The software we support has been designed and written by Michael Paul Coder of
Michael is a talented programmer who is also a lucid dream researcher. After evaluating several software architects, we knew that lucidcode would be the absolutely best choice for us to collaborate with. With an established dedication to the study of lucidity, and an existing platform for dream research, lucidcode provides the interface for DreamNET.
Why do we support software from lucidcode? Because after reviewing the data resulting from analyzing the physiology that occurs during lucid dreams, we knew the best approach required filtering the various brainwave frequencies that are generated during lucidity. By allowing our backers to select specific frequencies, DreamNET owners can program the sleep band so it is more effective depending on their individual characteristics. For a more in-depth look at the underlying science, please see the document from the US National Library of Medicine by clicking the following link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19750924
Taking control of the dream environment is exhilarating, and many people choose to experience weightlessness and self guided flight along with other physically impossible but enjoyable tasks. For others, exploring fantastic buildings and beautiful landscapes, all of their own creation, becomes possible. But for some, the ability to interact with dream characters is an irresistible reward. For the best opportunity at remembering your dreams, it is necessary for most people to be gently awoken at the right moment and verbally record or journal the experience. The software runs on
smart phones and tablets and DreamNET connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth LE. With the Lucid Scribe software downloaded, you can adjust various the parameters that will trigger the alarm. Although we provide suggested settings, you are in control of the programming of DreamNET. Our backers will be among the first to receive notices of updates available from lucidcode, and user generated feedback helps the entire community advance the understanding of dreams.
DreamNET has a reliable electroencephalogram (EEG) that uses dry electrodes and is a complete "system on a chip". With fast response times, on-board analog to digital conversion, and electrical noise filters, the NeuroSky ThinkGear AM has become the preferred choice for integrating EEG technology into affordable brain-computer interface products that are in use around the world today.
Our colleagues in the lucid dreaming community have launched a global study to investigate if it's possible for dreaming individuals to exchange coded information. Users of DreamNET are invited to anonymously share their findings which will be posted publicly so others can review and contribute to the study. Open forums allows us to leverage the different approaches that computer scientist, statistic analyst, and psychologist each take to understand the potential of dreams. A neuroscience perspective of interest is to examine the physiological responses to stimuli within dreams and if the stimulus response is always restricted to the individual dreamer, which is the current mainstream belief.
Our friends include several renowned lucid dream researchers. We are grateful to those listed and those behind the scenes encouraging us to bring DreamNET to Kickstarter. Here are some of the endorsements we have received:
"Lucid dreamers look forward to the day when lucid dreaming becomes easier, simpler, and more frequent. Exploring interesting, new technological concepts, like the monitoring of brainwaves with DreamNET, may be one approach to assisting lucid dreamers."
Robert Waggonner, Author of Lucid Dreaming
"Bill Murphy and I share a passion for shared dreaming and the exciting future of dreams and technology. Bill has a history of exploration into the mind and a great vision for the possibilities for discovery when you take the inner world of dreams into a global community of minds."
Daniel Oldis, Author of The Lucid Dream Manifesto
"To be able to have one of these at your disposal for regular nocturnal use is both a breakthrough and privileged insight into the inner workings of your dreaming mind. As we race into the future, it is innovations like the DreamNET project that will act as the checkered flags to let us know we are progressing accordingly"
Dr. Rory Mac Sweeney, Author of Wake Up In Your Dreams
"DreamNet is an exciting project that promises to open up new avenues in personal dream research and lucid dream induction. Whilst we must remember to keep our feet firmly on the ground and temper our expectations with common sense, I firmly believe that Bill Murphy has the passion, experience and knowledge to bring this fascinating product to life. DreamNet can offer us valuable data and tools with which we can further our understanding of our nocturnal adventures."
Daniel Love, oneirologist and author of Are You Dreaming?
It All Began with a Dream.
As a lucid dreamer, I wondered if somehow I, and others that also report becoming self aware in dreams, could find an affordable way to record our brainwaves with high performance EEG's and compare the results to people dreaming but not lucid. I was determined to do this in a way that would not be restricted to sleep labs, or require booking scarcely available time in a university that wouldn't necessarily conform to my personal sleep schedule. I also knew of the work of brave psychophysiologist that had brought the scientific study of lucid dreams into the public arena. Access to EEG's in the following decades was still cost prohibitive for the average consumer, and I focused on the experience itself. By the late 1990's prices began to become within reach and in 2006 I purchased a twin channel EEG with filters to display 14 frequencies. I discovered that while lucid dreaming, I would record signals suggesting characteristics of having conscious awareness while unconscious. This was the very beginning of the idea for what would eventually become DreamNET.
Thanks to lucidcode and those that participate in the effort to create a a solution to detect lucidity, prototypes based on Lucid Scribe software and the ThinkGear AM have been functioning for over a year with steady improvements in all aspects of performance. Original testing of the current solution began in mid 2012, with a smart integration of the ThinkGear AM into a headband by one of the participants of the Lucid Scribe project. Tom is one of those people we have to acknowledge, as his hardware modification was an improvement over some of the earlier efforts we made.
With an actual headband instead of a headset with metal grips, progress began in earnest. Powered by a single AAA battery, placement was critical to remaining asleep and recording the data.
An ear clip or behind the ear placement for a reference electrode is needed to avoid forehead muscle movement generating signals that could be misinterpreted as EEG data.
Our designers have proposed a compact enclosure for the small circuit boards along with a single illuminated reset button. The dry electrode performs well with firm forehead contact along with the behind the ear reference electrode. The headband itself is soft, comfortable, and adjustable to accommodate different sizes.
After testing various configurations, this design offers the most comfort and performance. 3D modeling allows us to construct the most efficient enclosures.
New features in the software from lucidcode are often added and constant updates to existing features have refined the capabilities of DreamNET. In addition to EEG detection, rapid eye movement (REM) detection resulting from the electrical signal generated by the muscles around the eyes may be possible. The detection of the electrical potential of muscle cells is referred to as electromyography (EMG). DreamNET is capable of this and a software option activates this feature. It requires a deliberate movement of the eyes, including blinking in preset patterns, and it can trigger an audio file. Several studies beginning in the 1970's and continuing into the 1980's associated REM states while dreaming with and without lucidity. Many have based their current research that continues today on these early findings.
- The video reveals audio tracks triggered at 0:34 by a series of blinks while a test subject was fitted with the same EEG that is contained in DreamNET -
The headband has undergone a number of revisions, and our goal for the final version is an aesthetically pleasing, comfortable to wear headband, and the already excellent software from lucidcode will no doubt be improved even further. Your pledge supports an effort spearheaded by, and for, lucid dreamers. Our Kickstarter backers will not only be the first to receive DreamNET, the price of the post Kickstarter version will not be at the discounted price our backers receive. Ground shipping of reward items to our Kickstarter backers in the U.S. within the lower 48 states will be free of charge.
Electrode placement is critical for accurate performance that is free from electrical noise generated by forehead muscle movement. These are much more prominent than the faint brainwave signals which must be amplified and filtered.
Synchronizing DreamNET to your mobile device is straightforward. After pairing, launching Lucid Scribe on your phone or tablet will prompt an attempt to automatically link DreamNET to your device. Changing the settings in the app in its current version requires you to restart DreamNET, then the new settings are recognized. This video also demonstrates the REM Detection function which triggers a sound file. Here's a short clip clearly showing how easy it is to use Lucid Scribe with DreamNET:
Remind Yourself of the Possibilities: Our Perpetual Spinning Top Electronic Token was inspired by the hit movie about lucid dreams and reality checks. The inductance coil in the base will illuminate the LEDs and keep the unpowered top spinning as long as the wall plug or batteries in the base are used. 60hz 9v U.S. wall plug included.
The DreamNET 2014 Rewards and Production Schedule:
- February / March - Kickstarter campaign concludes with shipment of custom electronic tokens to qualifying backers. Final engineering completed followed by quantity orders of circuit boards and peripheral electronics. While some components are manufactured in Asia, all final assembly and packing is in the U.S.
- March / April - Complete the design of electronics and component housing. Final selection of headband materials.
- May - Assembly of DreamNET kits in California.
- June - Shipment of DreamNET.
Risks and challenges
There are many variables that contribute to the user experience. We have confidence in DreamNET since the core of our product is based on the world-class development of a reliable brainwave sensor coupled with superior software, but the unique physiology of all individuals requires some willingness of our users to experiment. From the beginning, we knew that allowing the user to modify the parameters of detected brainwave frequency bands and the duration these frequencies are maintained would allow each user to program the best settings for themselves. With dedication and patience, you should be able to dial in the settings that could yield an opportunity of being awoken in time to recall your dream experience.
The decision to support mobile devices that sync with Bluetooth LE was influenced by market forces and power consumption concerns. We consulted with several developers, including a team we have collaborated with on other brain-computer interface projects, and came to the conclusion this is the best decision as we move forward. However, Lucid Scribe also runs on Windows and Mac support is already in the pipeline. If you prefer to run Lucid Scribe on a desktop instead of a mobile device, you can still be a part this exciting worldwide effort.
Although we do not anticipate delivery delays, supply and demand can sometimes be difficult to accurately predict. We will proactively communicate any issues in this regard if this occurs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
For lucid dream research, we support software from lucidcode. The software from Michael Coder has been running for several years and it performs well. But DreamNet may be compatible with other apps (depending on hardware configuration) that run on various platforms with a growing library already available now. This ensures our EEG will be valuable for many other uses and is not limited to the study of dreams.
Synapse has chosen to follow established procedures for placing the reference electrode on the mastoid bone behind the ear. The other option is an ear lobe clip. Both choices provide a neutral reference point which is needed to ensure a clean EEG signal. Since muscle movement on the forehead generates a greater electrical signal than brainwaves, this is critical for lucid dream research.
There are various methods for creating an environment where the dreamer may become self aware. Induction methods using lights gained fame after a select number of studies were published. However, test subjects who have worn sleep mask with lights over their eyes often report interrupted sleep and remove the mask. It also increases the bulk of the apparatus. A successful alternative is the triggering of external lights and audio, which DreamNet is capable of. Although no one method is guaranteed to work for everyone, a person setting their intention to become lucid while remembering to look for clues they are in a dream remains the most effective.
- (40 days)