16 Aug 2012

The app/social experiment that influences your dreams

The world of dreams is strange and mysterious and – scientifically speaking- we know very little about them. But Dream ON is a mass participation experiment which aims to give people a way of influencing what they dream about, as well as gathering data on what can impact people’s dreams.

The idea is that the app tracks your sleep patterns, detecting when you have reached your REM cycle. When this has occurred, the app plays a ‘soundscape’ that you have selected before sleep, carefully designed to help create your desired dream.

Upon waking, Dream ON presents you with a graph of your sleep patterns during the night, and the ability to store your dreams in a ‘dream bank’ which is fed to the main database. The success of the application is mixed thus far, with some people reporting that they are experiencing their chosen dreams, while others report no change or simply interrupted sleep.

While the application itself is interesting, perhaps more thought-provoking is the fact that this program has been developed by Professor Richard Wiseman, a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.  He has developed this app as a way of conducting a mass participation experiment, and it will be interesting to see both how reliable this data is, and if we see similar methods for collecting world-wide data in the future.