Cool Toys Pic of the day – Dream:On – Citizen Scientist, Research Subject, or Customer?


You’ve never seen a gap in posting here this long before. This
happened because my posts via email were bouncing all of a sudden,
which meant troubleshooting behind the scenes instead of posting. No
idea what caused the problem but it is gone. I may be doing double
posts for a while because there was so much I wanted to share this
past week. And with that, back to your regularly scheduled

Dream:On App:

“We have created a new way of carrying out mass participation
experiments. We still know relatively little about the science of
dreaming and this app may provide a real breakthrough in changing how
we dream, and record and track those dreams.” ~ Professor Richard

That line, right there, blows my mind. Wow! A science researcher that
created an app to generate and collect data for his experiments, on a
massive scale. This comes with a real payoff for the app customer,
a.k.a experimental subject.

The idea centers around controlled dreaming. I was interested in
controlled dreaming when I was younger, had a fair amount of success
with it then, and taught the skills to my children as strategies to
put them in control of their childhood nightmares. There is a certain
amount of benefit to the idea just from extending awareness of these
concepts and skills.

The iPhone app extends this by gathering data from the dreamer,
sensing (from movements?) when they are entering or leaving REM sleep,
prompting them to enter brief data tidbits, like a dream diary. It
rewards the dreamer by generating an audio soundscape at certain
points in the dream cycle to influence the dreams, with the intent of
making the dreams more positive and pleasant. It even has Facebook
integration! The 300,000 plus people who’ve already downloaded the
app evidently think there is either value in the dreams (customer) or
in contributing their data in the name of science (research subject).
What I don’t know yet is if there is a citizen science component
beyond contributing data, perhaps allowing the dreamer to generate
plots of their own dream patterns over time? Or allowing people to
create dream communities within friends or families to observe
possible connections or patterns?

I’m not quite sure what I think about it, and I haven’t tried it out,
but the idea of it is purely fascinating and highly innovative.


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