This is going to be a long but highly interesting post
It all starts a few months back when I saw on discovery channel the program NextWorld. I can’t remember which episode it was. But it was about great advances in how we would be communicating in the future. The one thing that got me really interested in and only now thinking about how it could benefit lucid reaming was sub vocal communication.
Have anyone of you played the Metal Gear Solid games on the Playstation consoles?
Well the main character Solid Snake has this nano machine implant in his head. Which allows him to communicate with his comrades while not actually moving his lips. I always thought this kind of thing was way off, like something happening in 20 years time. But anyway what solid snake was doing is now known as sub vocal communication. I don’t know how old the NextWorld program is but when I was watching it they said this technology will be available to the consumer and professional markets within 2 years.
Okay so how does this work you ask?
You wear this piece of tape on your throat which has electrodes that connect to the vocal cords of the throat. Then it wirelessly communicates with a PC. When you want to speak. You just consciously in your mind say a sentence like ‘hello, how are you?’ This tape on your throat picks up information from the vocal cords and then you can hear in real time on the computer speakers what your saying. So this tape is like a microphone. An invisible microphone that works on silent communication. Now I did a google search and came to an article on newscientist
I don’t think this is the same technology that was being shown on the NextWorld program, the newscientist article is dated 12 March 2008 and the device is rather thick and sits around the whole neck. The article talks of the company behind it who are called ambient corporation and audeo. I googled that and it came up with a company that seems to have nothing to do with them but then several links down the page a website called theaudeo.com/?action=products
So your asking yourself what does this have to do with lucid dreaming?
Just like Stephen LaBarge found that the eye can signal back from a dream with the real world and the features is now termed TWC for two way communication and is built into the remdreamer and dreammaker.
A part of me thinks that sub vocal communication would not work in Non REM dreams, as in these dreams you are on auto pilot and any conversations with a dream character or with yourself are not conscious and so they would not be picked up by the vocal cords. But a conscious dream (LD) would be picked up by the vocal cords. But another part of me thinks all type of dreams should be able to be picked up and it would be better this way.
Some LD sleep masks have an option to wake you up after the REM period ends so you can jot down your dream in your dream journal. The problem with this method is that it interrupts your sleep pattern and makes you feel more tired in the morning and doesn’t help for people who need to be very active at work. So one idea is with this sub vocal communication would be that you wear it while you sleep and when your in your dreams talking to dream characters it documents everything wirelessly to a PC. So basically you can dictate the dream world to a PC for recording all while the dream is taking place. No need to wake up after every REM period to write down your dreams. Also people hate the idea of keeping a dream journal. Constantly having to write in it. Now the other amazing thing is when you become lucid you could limit how long this LD is going to be. For instance you could say to yourself that your not going to be greedy and try to hold onto the lucidity for as long as possible as with this way you may slip out of lucidity and into a normal dream. So from the moment you become lucid you could say okay just 5 minutes and then I will let go, then after about 4 minutes you go somewhere in the dream and start speaking to yourself so that the vocal cords can send back information to the sub vocal communication device on your throat. You tell yourself quick things about the dream world while you were lucid and these can be recorded to the PC. So then instead of upon awakening jotting down the dream in your dream journal which to some can be exhausting especially after just getting up. You could come back to the recording later in the day and play it back and remember other things that happened and write them down in your actual dream journal. Or better while the actual lucid dream is going on you could dictate what your witnessing which will be recorded to your PC.
Now imagine how the above scenario could be actually used as a REM sensor. First let’s imagine that the sub vocal communication device could not detect you speaking silently in non rem dreams but when it does detect speaking in a REM dream then right there in itself you have got a REM sensor. Then it could send a command wirelessly to a sleep mask with a wireless microcontroller that would cue the LED’s to flash to each eyes or cue beeps and audio commands as well to the dreaming self. With the sleep mask holding just a wireless microcontroller and LED’s Both such devices could be very slimline that it would not effect any sleep positions. You could sleep face down into your pillow without risk of damaging the device. Now imagine this, after your getting the light cues and you’ve become lucid you could just turn the light cues off a la TWC. But the way you could do this is via silent talking within the dream world. We could build a command within the PC sleep program that when the sub vocal communication device picks up the words ‘i am dreaming - turn off’ then the PC sends a signal back to the microcontroller telling the light cues to turn off until the next time the sub vocal communicator picks up the REM state again.
Okay so I don’t know if your engineers on here would be too happy paying $2000 for a developers kit just so you can see if this is all possible and develop a working device. So now the next idea is even more revolutionary and could be done right now.
There is this product called the OCZ neural impulse actuator. OCZ is a big hardware manufacturer of PC gaming products such as GPU’s and solid state hard drives SSD among many other things. This neural impulse actuator or NIA as I will call it here is a headband that detects neural thoughts and allows you to control video games using thought alone.
There is another product called the emotiv epoc which does this but to a more advanced degree. The great thing is these things work and have been on sale for a while now. They cost under $150 which is pretty reasonable. The only problem with the epoc is that it is still quite a bulky looking device and makes you look kind of weird. whereas the NIA is just a wireless black headband. I have wondered whether these devices can be used to not only detect all sleep cycles but as well as allowing you to dictate your dreams. Both devices don’t require gel for their electrodes. We wouldn’t need all the features of the epoc so that would mean less electrodes as well. So the total mass and dimensions could be a lot smaller and we just want to detect certain states to do with dreaming so it should really be a lot smaller.
There have been a number of products on the market in recent years for the disabled that allows them to control certain machines such as wheel chairs even computers all via thought. These devices can even move a cursor across the screen and even form words. The epoc and NIA work in a similar fashion but also have far more advanced features. You can watch them on youtube and google them, they really work and they work well. The epoc was also featured on that same episode of NextWorld, I wish I could find the episode so you could see what I am talking about. We could make something like the epoc or buy the epoc and make custom software to see if these ideas can be made. Then we can work from a prototype to a full scale consumer model whether for profit or for just helping the LD community by releasing kits that we can build ourselves.
I imagine that the epoc could definitely allow you to use your brainwaves to form words that could allow you to consciously dictate the dream world. And as they can detect different states of sleep, when it comes to the REM stage it can signal to a sleep mask that you are dreaming and then it can send light cues to you. all very possible in my opinion. If we can make something similar to the epoc I would imagine first or several generations of the device may not have complete accuracy in forming full sentences via the brain within dreams but it could be enough for your brain to consciously form guide words that can be dictated and record to a PC while the body is dreaming. Then upon awakening these guide words can help you remember the dream so you can jot down the whole story in your dream journal. I think the whole ideas of dictated dreams is really fascinating. We are a long ways off from recording what the brain sees and then showing them on a TV. Probably at the most 40 years away. But imagine this idea of dictated dreams. Imagine if all our dreams were dictated. Right now many people don’t awaken from each of their REM periods and so we forget a lot of our dreams when we wake up. With this dictated idea of dreams we can suddenly listen back on our PC what was going on in dreams that we don’t remember having. This would be amazing and for the dreams we do remember, this would help us for keeping logs of the events in our dream journals, which again can strengthen dream recall which is especially useful for lucid dreaming.
There are so many ways these ideas can be adapted for LD I have lot’s more ideas, I only posted some for now to get the idea across.
So what do you think guys?