To dream, perchance to innovate
Web Log: Dormio prototype aims to help you tap into dreams by monitoring bio-signals
When you are semi-lucid, you are asked questions about your dream content by an Alex-like social robot named Jibo.
Did you know Edison, Tesla, Poe and Dalí all napped with a steel ball in hand? As they drifted off into a half-sleep, the ball would drop, waking them at the point where they were dreaming. The idea was to capture the spontaneous creative thoughts that emerge during the semi-lucid sleep state known as hypnagogia.
Researchers at MIT’s Dream Lab (an off-shoot of the Media Lab) have created a prototype wearable designed with the same purpose in mind. Dormio helps the wearer tap into their dreams by monitoring bio-signals. By detecting changes in muscle tone, heart rate and skin conductivity, Dormio knows when the wearer is entering this sleep state and this is the cue for audio playback – a simple word like “fork” or “rabbit”.
As the individual is semi-lucid, they are asked questions about their dream content by an Alex-like social robot named Jibo. This is because of hypnagogic amnesia ie we tend to forget our dreams upon waking. The wearer drifts off to sleep again and the process is repeated. MIT’s Dream Lab describes this as “incepting dreams and extracting dream reports”.
I can see it now, a Dystopian future where big tech companies have dream rooms full of employees forced to micro-nap while their creative thoughts are extracted for the next big thing.