Lucid dreams – who doesn’t wanna have them? Online, since long guides have existed detailing how to dream lucidly. For example, you can create the routine of performing a ‘reality check’, like holding your breath, looking at your watch or switching the light on. If this happens in your dream, but you still breathe or the light doesn’t go on (for some reason, electric light doesn’t seem to work in many people’s dreams), then you know you are dreaming and can start controlling it.
It takes a lot of practice, though, to control a dream and not wake up. Now, however, apps exist to aid you in this endeavor. As the BBC puts it, lucid dreaming has moved from the margin – featured in New Age fare like Carlos Castaneda’s The Art of Dreaming- to the mainstream. Apps like Dream:ON play sound cues, like singing birds, and thereby attempt to instill a dream without waking you up. Other apps are Singularity Experience, Dreamz and Lucid Dream Brainwave.
I very much wonder whether it works, however. In my experience, lucid dreams happen at that moment right between being asleep and being awake. That’s usually (hopefully) not the state you’re in in the middle of the night, but more like in the morning. Maybe if you combine it with setting your alarm way early and then going back to sleep again – another old lucid dreamer’s trick – it’ll work, but I doubt whether most working people will go to such lengths. Still, great stuff!
Lucid dreaming technically refers to any occasion when the sleeper is aware they are dreaming. But it is also used to describe the idea of being able to control those dreams.
Once confined to a handful of niche groups, interest in lucid dreaming has grown in recent years, spurred on by a spate of innovations from smartphone apps to specialist eye masks, all promising the ability to influence our dreams.
“A couple of years ago there were about four or five people organising meetings” says Mac Sweeney, a dentist and lucid dreaming expert from Islington, London. “Now there are closer to 50, and that’s in the capital alone.”
In addition to the group meetings, Michael has toyed with Dream:ON, the most popular of the many new smartphone apps now available.
Created by psychologist Richard Wiseman, the app has seen over half a million downloads in just six weeks.
“The new wave of interest is led by technology,” says Wiseman, whose app claims to allow users to choose their dream before bed, and plays sound cues once they have entered the right phase of sleep.
“When I selected birdsong, for example, I found myself dreaming that I was in a green and sunny field,” says Cave.
Whilst this isn’t strictly lucid dreaming, as it doesn’t offer users control from within a dream, there are many more which promise just that.
Singularity Experience, Dreamz, Sigmund and Lucid Dream Brainwave all work in a similar way, by playing subtle audio cues whilst the user is asleep. Not enough to wake them, but hopefully sufficient to trigger awareness inside a dream.
[R]eferences to lucid dreaming stretch back at least as far as Tibetan Buddhists in the 8th century, for whom it was just one stage in the practice of “dream yoga”. In 1867 Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys even wrote an instruction manual entitled Dreams and How To Guide Them before a Dutch psychiatrist, Frederick Van Eeden, finally coined the term “lucid dreaming” in the early 20th century.
More recently it has been hinted at by films like Inception and the Science of Sleep, which have no doubt contributed to its allure.
Disappointingly, Hobson tells us, “lucid dreaming is very hard work and won’t happen for everyone”.
There’s no guarantee that the apps will help, either. Success rates in those we asked were low, even among experienced lucid dreamers.
Ultimately, the lucid dreaming adherents say attaining the revered state requires discipline and practice, and the key is being able to quickly distinguish dreams from reality.
Pretty cool: an iPad app fully dedicated to the history and here-and-now of Berlin as electronic party paradise. Explore food joints with Modeselektor, urban architecture with Ben de Biel, day parties with Kotelett and Zadak, as well as hidden pieces of street art, the process of gentrification and hardware shopping.
People who steal stuff need to… Well, let’s not get into details. If there’s one thing I and I think everybody hates, it’s people who steal. I’ve had a couple of coats stolen and the idea of that person picking up that coat, trying whether it fits, and now walking around merrily with my coat on makes me very pissed.
One time, though, a guy who’d stolen my coat the night before was caught on camera, and we were able to pinpoint his face. To cut a long story short, in the end he had to return the coat and offered his dearest apologies. This guy was a first year law student so I could’ve ruined his life by going to the police, and he knew it. Of course I didn’t do that, but the act of him returning that thing and cringing through the dust to apologize to me was sweet. It felt very, very good.
So here’s somebody who did more or less the same. A MacBook was stolen from his apartment, yet the app Hidden was able to make pictures of the thief the whole time. Enter the power of the Internet to spread this meme around since March. And in the end, just a few hours ago - booya! – the burglar gets arrested. That’s justice.
On March 21, 2011, my MacBook was stolen from my apartment in Oakland, CA. I reported the crime to the police and even told them where it was, but they couldn’t help me due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, I’m using the awesome app, Hidden, to capture these photos of this guy who has my MacBook.
From the pioneers of electronic aesthetic comes this application for the modern-day apex of consumer electronic design: the Kraftwerk iPhone appKling Klang Machine No. 1.
I don’t really get what it does, but it looks and sounds pretty cool.
It’s a novel system that creates music and sound based on realtime data depending on your location that are continuously feeded into the app, meaning the KLING KLANG MACHINE No1 can’t be compared with other generative music apps which mostly utilize pre-programmed algorithms. There are some nice ways to manipulate sound and store personal preferences. For now the functionality is still kind of basic but the original concept will be more and more implemented in future updates and releases.
“The Wikileaks app gives instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents.”
Basically the paid app was selling WikiLeaks content (available for free) for $1.99. Its entry into the app store on December 17th was actually surprising, as Apple is usually quite strict and somewhat vague about its app approval standards. WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange are quite controversial, to put it lightly but I’m not sure if the app directly violated anything in Apple’s TOS.
In the past couple of weeks corporate biggies Amazon, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Bank of America have all tried to disassociate themselves in one way or another from WikiLeaks. If this isn’t some kind of glitch, Apple has plenty company.
I’ve contacted both Apple and and the developer for more information and will update this post when they respond.
WikiLeaks App, an unofficial iPhone and iPad that, according to its description, “gives instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents,” was removed by Apple from the App Store. As TechCrunch reports, the app’s developer, Igor Barinov, was told by Apple’s iTunes Store Team that the WikiLeaks app’s status was changed to “Removed from sale.” The app had appeared in Apple’s App Store just several days before, on December 17th.
For every purchase of the $1.99 app, the developer promised to donate “1 dollar of the purchase price towards organizations that work to promote the future of online democracy.”
The app also promised to “continue to feed content regardless of server disruptions,” a reference to the downtime the official WikiLeaks website suffered after Amazon announced that it would no longer host WikiLeaks.
Only three reviews of the app, two of them giving it just a one-star rating, had been posted prior to its removal. “Waste of money,” said one. Another commented, “Do not buy!” adding, “This app is just a wrapper for the mobile web site. There is no access to the actual released documents.”
I’m not a big Apple, iPhone or gadget slave, but augmented reality definitely holds potential. This new iPhone app is pretty brilliant, for example: it translates words and text it sees on the screen immediately, and does so in the same font style and lay-out as the original text. One step further into a Star Trek world.
Word Lens for the iPhone is one of the most amazing apps we have ever seen. Take a look at this, but put down any hot liquids first.
It’s an augmented-reality, OCR-capable translation app, but that’s a poor description. A better one would be “magic.” Word Lens looks at any printed text through the iPhone’s camera, reads it, translates between Spanish and English. That’s pretty impressive already — it does it in real time — but it also matches the color, font and perspective of the text, and remaps it onto the image. It’s as if the world itself has been translated.
We’ve tested the app, and it works just as shown in the video. In demo mode, it can rearrange (or blank out) any text in the camera’s field of vision. You need to purchase translation packs to do the actual translation.
In our tests, it worked smoothly, although the words had a tendency to wiggle around a bit, switching between English and Spanish and flipping between alternate translations. You could get the gist of a sentence, but not read it clearly. Holding the camera very steady helped mitigate the “wiggling” effect.
Word Lens is a taste of science fiction, something like a visual version of the universal translator or the Babelfish. Only instead of being a convenient device to avoid movie subtitles, it’s a real, functioning tool.
Word Lens is free, and will do some fancy rearranging of words to show you how it works. The Spanish-English and English-Spanish dictionaries are in-app purchases, for $5 each, and the app runs offline — perfect for when you’re traveling. You can pick your coffee back up, now.