In the 2001 film Waking Life, the anonymous protagonist begins to realize over the course of the film that he is in fact dreaming. With that realization, he begins boldly interacting with the characters he encounters, attempting to take advantage of the freedom warranted by his own imagination.
A startup called iWinks is attempting to commercialize lucid dreaming, or dreams in which the dreamer realizes she's dreaming. A headband they call the Aurora monitors users' sleep patterns. When they enter REM sleep (when dreaming tends to occur), the headband cues users in to the fact that they are in a dream by sending subtle cues such as flashing colored light or a slight sound. The idea is that dreamers will not awaken but that these cues will appear to them, making them realize they are in a dream. They can then take charge and explore the dreamworld without fear of danger or repercussion. The band also monitors your sleep patterns to act as a smart alarm, waking you during a light rather than deep phase of sleep.
The creators say it works, but curious dreamers can find out for themselves at $150 a pop. The team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a February 2014 product launch.
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