Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

...and You Thought Facebook Was Intrusive?

I really hate those dreams in which I'm running around in public with no clothes on and no way to hide. It's always a relief to wake from those nightmares, damp from sweat: the result of using my "jimmy legs" to run into some dark alley in hopes of finding clothes like the Incredible Hulk always seemed to do. Fortunately, my imaginary (I hope) dreamworld has other features as well, some of them quite pleasant though mostly, I forget them prior to waking up to a phone call in my dream that sounds suspiciously like my alarm clock. I'm just a bit uncertain that I was happy to find out that "there's an app for that." really.
Back in April, Apple released an app for the iPhone called "Dream:On" designed by Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in Britain. Believe it or not, this app was designed to give people a pre-programmed dream! really.
The technology is based on the fact that we tend to move around while we sleep. The iPhone has a motion detector of sorts that also comes into play. Here's how the thing works.
Just before heading off to the Land of Nod, a user sets the alarm function on the iPhone and selects the type of dream he or she would like to have. Twenty minutes before the alarm is set to sound, the motion detector supposedly detects REM eye movement and begins to play sounds that will provide the exact type of dream desired. The part about sounds triggering dreams makes sense...happens all the time that outside sounds are incorporated into our dreams...but this?
Users are a'plenty: in the first week after introduction, more than 300,000 people downloaded the app. Wiseman is now trying to get all the users to report their experiences in order to further refine the app.
Of course, not everyone is convinced, especially in the scientific community. Dr. Douglas Prisco, director of sleep medicine at USC calls the science "iffy" while others have opined that such an app might, in fact, deprive people of sleep instead of inducing a deeper sleep.
I would love to try it, but I have only a dumb phone" so I'll simply have to dream vicariously with "Dream:On."


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