In his time Aristotle observed that, “often when one is asleep something in consciousness declares that what then presents itself is a dream.” Some degree of control over the dream is indeed possible, but this is usually hard to achieve and requires lots of practice.
Addressing this challenge, Ukrainian startup Luciding has developed a headband device that it claims “provides lucid dreams every night.”
By detecting your rapid eye movements (REM), the Luciding device lets you understand that you are in a dream – making your dreams come true in a sense.
“After that, you can do virtually anything in your own dreamworld,” the startup claims.
Luciding also features a mobile app and a social network to “choose your next dream, share experience, and find lucid friends.”
From scientific discovery to hardware device in less than a year
The project began in early 2014 when scientists discovered that a mild electronic impulse applied to the brain makes a person understand he or she is in a dream. Nikita Antonov – who himself had previously been a lucid dreamer for years – immediately adopted the idea and co-founded Luciding a few months later.
“It took us one month with a hardware engineer to build a working prototype that let the user sink into a state of conscious sleep. In four out of five attempts our device worked from the very first try,” Antonov said in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News.
WannaBiz, an incubator based in Odessa, southern Ukraine, backed the startup with an initial $15,000 seed-stage investment. Then international business angel Javier Vazquez injected an additional $20,000 into the company.
The first pre-orders came in October 2014 from a variety of countries across the world. “Our first production line was so small that we could deliver a limited number of devices,” Antonov says.
Money for dreams to come true
Luciding is not the first to offer a device to stimulate lucid dreams. iWinks, a California-based startup, is also developing a headband that plays lights and sounds for lucid dreaming with a smart alarm clock to help you sleep better. As of April 15, the US startup raised nearly $240,000 from 1,428 Kickstarter backers.
In contrast to competing technologies, the Luciding approach does not require any training, says Maryna Vermishian, Business Development & PR Director at Luciding. “Based on neurostimulation of the pre-frontal cortex with 40Hz frequency, our method will allow you to see a lucid dream from the very first try.”
With its team of seven, Luciding is now at the finishing stage of assembling its first pre-ordered devices before shipping them. The next stage will be the setup of production lines in the US, Europe and China, and the opening of an operations office in the US.
Next month Luciding will attend Tech Crunch Disrupt in New York and Seed Forum in London. The startup will also launch a crowdfunding campaign before considering an investor round of up to $1 million.