Big announcement – Mass study aims to change the world’s dreams!

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Today I am launching a new mass participation project and I would love you to be involved. It is ridiculously ambitious, but if it works we could change the world! In a nutshell, we want to see whether we can give you your perfect dream!

For the past year I have been working with app developers YUZA to develop Dream:ON. The idea is simple. Before you go to bed you decide when you would like to wake up and what type of dream you would like to have (perhaps a stroll in the countryside or relaxing on a sun kissed beach).

You then place the iPhone on your mattress and it monitors your movements 20 minutes before your desired wake up time. When the app detects a lack of movement – which is indicative of you dreaming – it quietly plays a carefully selected soundscape that has been designed to influence your dream (think birds tweeting and waves gently lapping against the shore).

The app then gently wakes you up and prompts you to send in a brief description of your dream. The app also shows you a graph of your sleep levels throughout the night, and includes an intelligent alarm to help ensure you wake up from shallow sleep.

Will it be possible to influence your dreams? If so, can we get people all over the world to enjoy wonderful dreams and wake up feeling happier?

I would love you to take part. Both the app, and soundscapes needed for the experiment are free (it is possible to purchase additional soundscapes if you want). To discover more, and download the app, please visit the project website here.

Thank you and sweet dreams.

81 comments on “Big announcement – Mass study aims to change the world’s dreams!

  1. J Frank Anastasio says:

    No Android version??? :-(

  2. Bart says:

    Apparently android users still just have to dream of electric sheep :)

  3. Paddie Reed says:

    This is real NO?

  4. PianoPaul says:

    Android users can always dream of owning a apple device…

    • Dave says:

      I guess Apple fans can always dream of learning the basic rules of English grammar and capitalisation.

    • Sarah says:

      Maybe when Apple start doing more than 3 phones they might actually become desirable. Until then it seems one huge mistake not to have this on Android, which holds most of the UK market on phones by quite a long way.

  5. Alex says:

    What I love about it is how it doesn’t even start off saying (or apologising) that it’s for iPhone owners only, the whole text just assumes you are one.

    • What I love about it is how it exposes how a supposedly more intelligent crowd still has their personalities wrapped up in the type of phone they use, and how judgmental they are of people who use a different phone.

    • Yeah, I hate that too. Android users far outnumber iPhone, and yet so many companies that release apps just assume that iPhone is the only market out there.

    • mykdowling says:

      @impossibly stupid: What comment did you read? The one you replied to had no judgement on users of any device, just a perfectly valid complaint about a large proportion of readers being completely ignored. The least Richard could do is mention the possibility of an Android version

    • The comment I read actually wanted an *apology* for some unfathomable reason. Your own lack of self awareness as you proceed to whine about your phone is all the more amusing. Grow up; it’s just one app on one phone.

    • Jimbo says:

      @stupid it’s not our personality that’s wrapped up in the type of phone we use,our ability to take part in the experiment is. The call for some recognition of this fact from someone who has been excluded IS fathomable (by the more intelligent crowd).

    • Get some perspective. Billions of people are “excluded” from billions of things every day. Stop carrying a cross for your silly little smart phones.

    • Jethro says:

      IS, with the greatest of respect I really think you are the one who is losing a little perspective. All that Alex pointed out is that the website does not mention that the app is currently for Iphones only. There was no suggestion that the type of phone one has somehow indicates their level of intelligence nor does it imply anything about the personalities of owners of different types of phone.

      Yes, lots of people are excluded from lots of things every day, but you seem to be trying to chastise those who wish they weren’t excluded. I see no cross carrying going on (nor torch carrying, which is what I suppose you really meant), just someone voicing that he wishes he could get involved in this experiment. I’m at a loss to understand why that bothers you so.

    • Myk Dowling says:

      @Impossibly Stupid: Make up your mind what you’re complaining about. One minute, it’s people being judgemental of others’ phone choices, then when called on the non-existence of such judgemental opinion, you retreat to complaining about a supposed sense of entitlement based on a parenthetical word choice. The fact is that Richard either chose not to mention the currently single-OS nature of the app, or it never occurred to him that not everyone uses iOS. Given that we had a similar kerfuffle over his last big foray into apps (the Telepathy app) back when Android users were a minority, it seems unlikely that he is not even aware of the existence of Android users among his readership/fanbase.

      The only conclusion seems to be that he has actively chosen to ignore a significant percentage of his own fanbase. Not by getting the app developed for iOS first, but by not even mentioning it. It’s not the phones that are miffed/insulted/bothered/excluded, it’s the fans that own them.

    • Just a visitor says:

      Kentuckyfreethinker, Impossibly stupid doesn’t have the same opinion with you, becuse your personality is still wrapped up in your android phone.

    • Just a visitor says:

      Five stars to Impossibly Stupid comments, I completely agree. It is only a phone app, so no point to get down to discrimination that Abdroid has been excluded. It is what it is, live with it!

  6. Alex says:

    Should add though that I like the idea in general and good luck with the experiment.

  7. cjquines says:

    Can it be an April Fool’s Joke?

  8. Seraph says:

    Just downloaded!

  9. Frankie says:

    Android version please!!

  10. Norris says:

    What are we supposed to be “laying on a sun-kissed beach” – eggs?

  11. Zawia Saki says:

    Bart, that was very funny. Thank you for my first big laugh of the day. :)

  12. Rusty says:

    I’m guessing this doesn’t work with a memory foam mattress?

  13. Lazy T says:

    Send me a phone and I’ll join in,
    in the meantime I’ll try using postcards.

  14. Berber Anna says:

    My HTC Android phone has a position detector as well, so I’m assuming it’ll detect movement too. Which means there’s no hardware-based problem (at least not for most phones, as mine is a cheap Wildfire) preventing this app from being useful in Android. I know far more Android users than I know iPhone users, so why make the app Apple-exclusive?

  15. Jimbo says:

    I can’t find this in the Play Store!

    But I did find this one, which has had over 50,000 downloads in less than 2 months since it was released…
    “The app monitors sleep when placed on your mattress and plays subtle voice reminders in REM”
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.luciddreamingapp.beta

    If you want a sample for your experiment, don’t ignore the market-leading smartphone platform!

  16. Homero A. Gonzalez says:

    Richard, Very interesting, please notify us when you have an Android version.

    • Isiah Kahn says:

      Mr. Gonzalez,
      This is just a way to just to make money off of a smartphone application! As a prominent scientist, I too was offered to endorse an Iphone App for a percentage of the profits. BUT! I turned it down!!! I would have made substantial income from endorsing the Iphone App BUT I have integrity! AND I cannot be bought! As any scientist knows, nothing can be scientifically proven in a “MASS EXPERIMENT” such as this! A controlled environment is the foundation of science studies!!! I am upset because there are too many PHDs prostituting themselves to make a buck off of these smartphone apps. Frankly, it’s making all of us PHDs look bad!!!!

  17. Julia says:

    I don’t have a fancy phone (iphone or android or whatever), but I’ll tell the boyfriend about it.

    I can influence my dreams anyway. I just think about whatever it is I want to dream about (usually flying) frequently during the day, and I end up dreaming about it. Easy.

  18. Larry says:

    I guess there’s not one for Windows Phone either…but that would be asking for a bit too much ;)

  19. indialeigh says:

    How did you think up this concept? Interesting idea. I am curious. What do you think would happen if we took away the randomness of dreams, let’s face it we don’t know why we dream and what effects they have on our waking like, and a mass of the population were crafting their own dreams? I just am thinking of the age old advice of ‘sleeping’ on a problem and it looks clearer in the morning. Do you think it would support or deny the value of that? just saying…

    • Berber Anna says:

      Since the app only really provides a background for your dream (countryside, beach etcetera), I’m assuming your brain would fill in the details with anything it wants to dream about. No telling who you’ll meet on your countryside stroll, or what boat will sail up to that beach.

  20. James Hill says:

    Hi, saw this on the Daily Mail, interesting experiment. For those Android users who are overlooked, perhaps Prof Wiseman wants to consider using the Zeo Sleep Manager Android API. For starters, by using actual neurofeedback as a direct measure of brain state, it will much more accurately detect REM sleep than the indirect movement based systems can. No movement = REM is a BIG assumption after all. Seeing actual EOG activity like Zeo does, is a far more direct indicator. Add the Android API they have published and allowing open access to, Prof Wiseman could easily whip up an app that plays the soundscapes the moment Zeo detects REM. Win-win for all.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I really want to try this programme, but, dissapointly I am a nokia n8 user and dont have iphone. Maybe this is asking abit to much , but i will wait untill someone create for nokia n8 :D

  22. Micha says:

    My iPod touch seems too old to work with this piece of software. Me sad.

  23. Cymon says:

    I would love to try this out but until my wife and I decide to sleep in different beds, possibly in different rooms, this just isn’t a posibility. I suspect most couples will have similar problems.

  24. The other Matt says:

    I have Symbian…

  25. jeffrey Braak says:

    is there gonna be a androind version? :) would be nice

  26. Dave says:

    Let’s say participant X in this experiment decides they would like to have the countryside stroll soundscape played to them. They wake up the next morning and report in that they dreamed of a countryside stroll.

    So, how is this study supposed to tell us whether the dream was influenced by the app or simply by the participant’s decision to choose a particular soundscape?

    • Rick says:

      I was thinking that too. To me a better experiment would be to run the app over night but not select the dream you want. When you wake you select which dream you had, if any, and send. Then you find out which dream was randonly chosen for you by the app.

    • Ryan says:

      Besides, what exactly does a countryside stroll sound like? In whose country? I don’t think this is supposed to be an entirely robust experiment, rather something fun and a little silly.

  27. Pianopaul says:

    Lol. U had a good point 2 be made dave.

  28. Jethro says:

    I can’t help thinking that there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. Mass-participation experiments of this kind are usefull for measuring people’s perceptions, but without hands on controlls I’m not sure how valid or valuable the data will be. Thime will tell, I’m sure.

    Anyway, I shall download the app on my Ipad and see if it’ll work on that, if not I’ll wait for the Android version – best of both worlds ;)

    • Isiah Kahn says:

      Jethro,
      You are correct. This is just a way to just make money off of a smartphone application! As a prominent scientist, I too was offered to endorse an Iphone App for a percentage of the profits. BUT! I turned it down!!! I would have made substantial income from endorsing the Iphone App BUT I have integrity! AND I cannot be bought! As any scientist knows, nothing can be scientifically proven in a “MASS EXPERIMENT” such as this! A controlled environment is the foundation of science studies!!! I am upset because there are too many PHDs prostituting themselves to make a buck off of these smartphone apps. Frankly, it’s making all of us PHDs look bad!!!!

  29. jolly says:

    If you wanna change the whole world maybe providing the app for both iPhone and android markets would be a good idea. Just sayin.

  30. katm515 says:

    Sorry Richard but just don’t buy this. Am I just too skeptical?

    • Jedi123 says:

      “Am I just too skeptical?”

      No, you’re cynical. Please stop mistaking cynicism for skepticism.

    • Isiah Kahn says:

      katm515,
      You are correct. This is just a way to just to make money off of a smartphone application! As a prominent scientist, I too was offered to endorse an Iphone App for a percentage of the profits. BUT! I turned it down!!! I would have made substantial income from endorsing the Iphone App BUT I have integrity! AND I cannot be bought! As any scientist knows, nothing can be scientifically proven in a “MASS EXPERIMENT” such as this! A controlled environment is the foundation of science studies!!! I am upset because there are too many PHDs prostituting themselves to make a buck off of these smartphone apps. Frankly, it’s making all of us PHDs look bad!!!!

  31. Dave says:

    I was going to complain about the lack of an Android version (a recurrent theme from Professor W), but insofar as he’s attempting to influence people who can’t think for themselves, he’s probably right to stick to iPhone owners.

  32. SimonP says:

    Is this available for the Atari2600?

  33. It was free, so I went ahead and loaded it. I will report back with results.

  34. JohnLoony says:

    Will it work on my landline? I haven’t got a phobile moan.

  35. Jethro Stevenson says:

    Two yogurt cartons and a bit of string, etc.

  36. Mike Torr says:

    Come on people, that’s enough brand-based mud-slinging now; if I want to see gangs calling each other names, I’ll visit the local school playground.

    Personally I have some doubts about this idea, but it might be interesting to see what happens anyway – it’s intriguing.

    • mykdowling says:

      There are only three comments slinging mud at users of particular brand. That seems remarkably restrained.

    • Ryan says:

      Maybe the real experiment was to see how people react in an open forum when a semi-desirable application isn’t released on their preferred mobile operating system.

  37. Vince says:

    Surely I can’t be the only one who thought of Aerosmith here.

  38. adora says:

    I wish I could try this app, but I use Android because I’m not religious.

  39. [...] che promette lo psicologo e performer britannico Richard Wiseman, che ha appena lanciato dal suo blog uno studio di massa per scoprire se si possono davvero pilotare i sogni. Il fatto è che Wiseman [...]

  40. [...] Big announcement – Mass study aims to change the world’s dreams! « Richard Wiseman. Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  41. [...] che promette lo psicologo e performer britannico Richard Wiseman, che ha appena lanciato dal suo blog uno studio di massa per scoprire se si possono davvero pilotare i sogni. Il fatto è che Wiseman [...]

  42. Beauty Vill Girl…

    [...]Big announcement – Mass study aims to change the world’s dreams! « Richard Wiseman[...]…

  43. Daryl says:

    apparently I never enter a deep sleep. I paid for a lucid sound scape and it has never deemed my sleep worthy of playing it for me. :/

  44. Paul says:

    Releasing an iphone version before an android version, despite there being fewer users? Somebody stuffed up.

    • Ryan says:

      I think it is much easier to release an iPhone application than an Android application. For one, there are many models, each with different hardware and variations in software. That means a lot more tweaking and checking for bugs.

  45. [...] Wiseman created an iPhone app that’s meant to influence your dreams. I don’t have an iPhone, but I’d try it if I did. Here’s some press coverage [...]

  46. Agnese says:

    Mi chiamo Agnese Pellegrini, ho 35 anni e non ho mai dormito bene di notte. La mattina mi sveglio molto più stanca di quando vado a dormire. Ho letto però un articolo sui sognatori lucidi e ho deciso di scriverle.

    Io sono sempre consapevole di me stessa, mentre sogno. Premetto che sogno molto e ricordo anche 2-3 sogni a notte. Sono sogni molto complicati, con una trama narrativa davvero ampia. Ho iniziato a scrivere racconti, proprio partendo dai miei sogni. E’ come se qualcuno mi dettasse la trama di un nuovo racconto, anche se poi razionalmente penso di essere sempre io a creare il sogno…

    Nei miei sogni c’è un io che sogna e un io che è consapevole di far parte del sogno e di star sognando. Tanto che, se il sogno non mi piace, io lo cambio. Stanotte per esempio ho sognato di incontrare una persona. Quella persona però non mi era simpatica, così mi sono detta: cavolo, il sogno è una mia produzione, quindi se non mi piace posso cambiarlo e posso scegliere di incontrare un’altra persona più simpatica. E così è stato.

    A volte ho avuto episodi di sonnambulismo e quasi sempre durante il sonno parlo o piango. Molto spesso sogno persone morte, o persone che voglio sognare.

    Non so se la mia esperienza può esserle utile. A me sarebbe davvero molto utile conoscere un suo parere.

    grazie

  47. [...] lo psicologo e performer britannico Richard Wiseman, che ha appena lanciato dal suo blog uno studio di massa per scoprire se si possono davvero pilotare i sogni. Il fatto è che [...]

  48. Isiah Kahn says:

    This is just a way to make money from a popular idea. There are many websites and “P.H.D.s” who are making a killing by exploiting Iphone Apps (droid, etc). There is no way that a simple device such as an Iphone can detect your sleep. I can guess, with experience, as I am a P.H.D. myself, I can guess that this will work about 2% of the time! This just goes to show that even P.H.D.s are no different than anyone else. Integrity has a price. Apparently a few $100k is not worth anyone’s integrity, epecially an P.H.D. Throw it all away and prostitute your education……Shameful!!!

  49. Waiting for Android… Come on we are 2/3 of the Market!!!

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