Lucid dreams can be a pretty cool thing to experience, but they’re often fleeting and far too rare. That’s where iBand+ comes in. It’s a headband you wear while you sleep, increasing your chances of experiencing a lucid dream, as well as generally improving your sleep quality. It sounds weird, but there’s some clever science behind it.
Currently available via a recently launched Kickstarter campaign, the iBand+ hopes to revolutionize your sleeping patterns. The headband has four LEDs placed at the correct distance for your eyes, with the LEDs providing visual cues at the right times. Pillow speakers offer audio cues in conjunction with that, being lightweight and easy to disguise.
The iBand+ senses your brain waves with a “laboratory level” of accuracy, while also providing tracking sensors that measure body movement, heart rate and even body temperature.
Through a series of auto learning software algorithms, the iBand+ analyzes how your body rests, adjusting audio-visual signals to induce lucid dreams, as well as entice you into sleeping more easily.
“I personally have sleep problems,” co-founder, Purva Raut, says. “In a bid to…improve the quality of sleep, we started looking for a solution.”
As she found out, alongside her husband and co-founder Samir Raut, an estimated 50-70 million adults in the US and 1/3 of adults in Europe have sleep or wakefulness disorders. Links have also been formed between sleeping issues and the importance of dreams. “We decided to build a technology that will improve sleep and enable everyone to experience the beautiful world of lucid dreams,” Raut says.
Over the past 5 months, the iBand+ has been tested extensively on eight different subjects. Through such testing, encompassing different mental and physical health conditions, as well as social status and gender, the iBand+ algorithm has been strengthened, ensuring it’s at its most effective. In the long term, the plan is to gather sleep data from volunteers via Kickstarter backers to ensure the algorithm continues to improve the more iBand+ is used.
There are other benefits, too. There’s the potential for it to help as a form of therapy. Samir told us a story of one user who had a fear of heights, but has made great progress through his use of iBand+. Some users reported feeling closer to their own self and their inner thoughts, through what was uncovered at night. The hope is that iBand+ will also work as a significant form of healing aid.
“[One] user was grieving and, according to their report, due to lucid dreaming they got a chance to get a closure and in turn healing was much easier,” Raut says, highlighting its potential.
It’s an interesting concept. While iBand+ can work solely as a sleep tracker, its ability to analyze its users’ sleep cycle means it’s so much more than a conventional tracker. Raut notes that it’ll also provide sleep improvement suggestions, ensuring the more you use it, the better your night’s sleep becomes.
Some of that flexibility comes from its customization options. For instance, you can choose to listen to your own music or something from your audiobook library. It also offers a smart alarm feature, allowing you to wake up with simulated natural sunlight and sounds at the most optimal period of your sleep cycle. Think of it as like a much improved version of a Fitbit or Jawbone wristband, waking you up at the perfect moment.
The downside is that it isn’t the most stylish of devices to wear, which might be off-putting when sharing a bed, but who wants to share a bed with someone suffering from sleep disturbances? A slightly futuristic looking headband is far more preferable.
iBand+ is currently available through a Kickstarter campaign. €129 (about $144) will buy you one iBand+ at an early bird special price, with that rising to €159 (about $178) once all the early bird allocation has been purchased. The campaign runs until October 27.