The Premise: There’s been a lot of interest in lucid dreaming for many years, and technology has made it more approachable. The ability to control one’s dreams is certainly enticing, especially for those who are looking to learn more about themselves.
The Product. Aurora is just the latest in a string of devices meant specifically to make lucid dreaming easier and more accessible. The way in which the Aurora works is quite simple, really. As one begins to go into REM sleep, eye movements change rapidly. The device (a high-tech eye mask) is able to pick up on this, after which it emits customizable lights and sounds. In theory, once you experience this “reminder” that you are actually dreaming, you’ll be able to train yourself to control the results of the dream. The USB-rechargeable Aurora can communicate with your smartphone and can also time your wakeup so that you feel more relaxed, a premise of the Lark device that launched on Kickstarter last year.
The Pitch. The pitch video makes a very good case for what the product is capable of. A nice production value, a great explanation of what Aurora does and plenty of attractive imagery makes the product look quite enticing. Developer iWinks describes how the companion app maps a typical sleep cycle and introduces a stretch goal of $300,000 at which point Aurora’s algorithms will be baked into the mask itself, making the smartphone optional.
The Perks. The Aurora is due to appear with a pretty quick turnaround, scheduled for March 2014. At $175, it is quite a pricey device, although you can certainly find pricier alternatives. Most of the reward tiers from there include incentives for developer access.
The Potential. Given the low maintenance associated with the device, its perfect for those who ascribe to the “set it and forget it” ideals that come along with so many of today’s products, That said, it’s difficult to avoid comparing the device to 2012’s Remee, another Kickstarter-funded sleep mask meant to help make lucid dreaming easier, and LUCI. Since the Remee is only $80, shelling out the extra $100 or so may be difficult for some folks, if not unnecessary.