It's being described as "the world's largest dream experiment": an iPhone app that can reportedly control a user's dreams.
British psychologist Richard Wiseman — who claims to have the most followers of any psychologist on Twitter — has teamed up with software developers from YUZA to create Dream:ON, a free download said to influence your dreams through the use of soundscapes.
"Owners of iPhones who download the app will turn their phones into a 'dream factory' able to play a customized 'soundscape' designed to influence the mind into dreaming about pleasant scenes, such as lying on a beach," reports Fox News.
Wiseman provides a quick tutorial in the video below:
As Wiseman demonstrates, the process begins by selecting the "start dreaming" button, indicating the time you'd like to wake up, selecting an alarm tone and choosing your desired soundscape. You then rest the iPhone face down on the nightstand and "throughout the night, the app will monitor and log your movements. And then, about 20 minutes before you want to wake up, it will go into dream mode. It will wait until you are especially still, which is an indication that you're dreaming, and then gently play in your chosen soundscape."
The app registers that the user has entered REM sleep (the stage at which dreaming begins) by utilizing the iPhone's microphone. When the soundscape begins to play, "theoretically, that audio will be incorporated into the existing dream," explains Ben Coxworth in Gizmag. "Of course, it's possible that someone could simply end up dreaming that an axe murderer was chasing them through a peaceful garden — that's the sort of thing that the project is looking at."
The alarm will sound when the user begins to move again — the app interprets the movement as an indication the user has exited from REM sleep and is no longer dreaming. By not being woken up during REM sleep, the user should awake feeling refreshed, a strategy currently used in products such as the Sleeptracker sleep-monitoring alarm.
"Getting a good night's sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people's productivity and is essential for their psychological and physical well-being," Wiseman shared with Fox News. "Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiment aims to change that."
Users will be prompted to submit a report on their dream once they have awoken, and after a few months of running live in the App Store, Wiseman and his team plan to evaluate the user submissions. An Android version of the app is expected later this year.
Do you believe the Dream:On app can successfully manipulate your dreams? Let us know in the comments below.
(Screengrab Fox News)