MIT Develops Experimental Wearable Hand Device Called “Dormio” Capable of Dream Control
September 1, 2020
Scientists at the MIT “Dream Lab” have developed an experimental electronic wearable device called “Dormio,” that will get people closer to controlling their dream content during the onset of sleep, in a semi-lucid zone.
Dormio is equipped with sensors wrapped around the user’s wrist and fingers. The device tracks muscle tone, heart rate, and skin conductance to identify stages of sleep. A neurochemical transformation takes place between wake and sleep called the hypnagogic state. When the user slips into hypnagogia, an audio cue plays repeating a word to influence a user’s dream content.
In a study of 50 participants tested, many subjects dreams were theme enhanced by wearing Dormio. The device works while paired with a cell phone app that works on both ios and android devices.
Hypnagogia shares many of the fluid, dream-like sensations of REM sleep, but with an important difference: people can still hear and process audio during this in-between state as they transition from being awake to being asleep. Only about one percent of people are capable of entering this state regularly, making it difficult to study.
The Dream Lab believes information processing during sleep can be engineered from the outside, what researchers term as ‘targeted dream incubation’ (TDI) which could serve therapeutic purposes, or strengthen a user’s memory. The Dream Lab, founded in 2017 is a subdivision of the world-renowned Media Lab, which has been an epicenter for creativity where brilliant minds intersect advancing technologies to improve and transform the human experience.
“Dreaming is really just thinking at night,” Adam Horowitz, a PhD student at MIT and a Dream Lab researcher, told OneZero. “When you go inside, you come out different in the morning. But we have not been asking questions about the experience of that transformation of information or the thoughts that guide it.