It’s a familiar scenario. We toss and turn in bed all night before finally crashing as exhaustion creeps up. We wake up a few hours later; groggy, disorientated, and in no mood to go to work. Internally, we know it’s bound to be an unproductive day.
That’s because not only does a lack of sleep affect our cognitive and emotional states – it also has a debilitating impact on our physical health. Sleep deprivation can hinder muscle and tissue repair and significantly raise chances of developing chronic illnesses. And this isn’t really a problem that drinking copious amounts of coffee can solve.
iBand+ wants to help us get a good night’s rest. The startup engineers a wearable gizmo that maps your brain waves, helping monitor things like body movement, heart rate, and temperature.
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It straps onto your head and uses a combination of audio-visual signals to gently coax the mind to sleep. While asleep, the device will track your sleeping patterns and gently wake you up when you’ve reached the optimum amount needed for a refreshing day ahead. Furthermore, it also syncs with an app to give you a detailed overview of the previous night’s sleep as well as suggest improvements in areas like sleep timing.
Boulevard of broken dreams
But that’s not the niftiest thing it offers. Samir Raut, co-founder of iBand+, says the wearable is capable of inducing lucid dreams – meaning users will be aware that the things they might be seeing aren’t real.
“Along with sleep, dreams also play an important role in our health and happiness. While sleep rejuvenates the body, dreams rejuvenate the mind. With iBand+ we want to enable everyone to experience lucid dreams,” he affirms. This may sound freaky to some, but Samir is quick to explain that dreaming has several inherent advantages – including boosting our mood, memory, language, and problem-solving skills. He adds that during the research process, the team discovered lucid dreaming can even help people prone to nightmares.
“The possibilities are endless,” he exhorts. So how does it engender lucid dreaming exactly? Isn’t that a terribly complicated process? Samir explains that people dream mainly during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep – which is also the part where our brain is most alert and active. The band detects when we’re in that stage and plays audio-visual cues to help induce dreams.
These cues are external stimuli of light patterns via an in-built LED and sound from accompanying speakers. They appear as anomalies, making users aware they’re dreaming without waking them up.
iBand+’s Kickstarter is currently live and has already exceeded its funding target of US$61,000. But the gizmo isn’t cheap by any yardstick – an early bird price will set you back roughly US$155, with deliveries not before July next year.
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Nonetheless, Samir feels confident the device will be embraced by many consumers. He explains the team hasn’t accepted any angel funding yet and they’re trying to develop it into a product for everyone. “We truly believe that iBand+ will help enhance people’s quality of life,” he says.
This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.
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