At MIT, scientists are developing a device that allows people to send sleep and even control their dreams. This device is the Dormio and is aimed at a specific moment in the sleep cycle: the slumber phase, or the hypnagogia.
In this sleep phase you are between waking up and sleeping. Here you can experience hallucinations and micro-dreams. You can have conversations at this stage that you can not remember when you are awake. In this phase your creativity is boosted. Generals such as Thomas edison used this phase to come to new insights. They held a steel ball or other object in their hand, and if they came into REM sleep, the ball would fall, waking themselves up.
Dormio also works in this way. The device is stuck to the hand and resembles a glove. The sensors can detect when someone reaches the state of hypnagogia. They know this by tracking physical signals, such as muscle tone and heartbeat. The system can also determine when someone leaves this phase and gets into a deeper sleep. When this happens, a robot names words to get the person back into the hypnagogia phase. These words can also actually occur in a dream.
Dormio has been tested in a small number of people. Most remembered the triggers with words and the images in the dream of this. At this moment the system is being developed further, to make it ultimately available for commercial use.
The purpose of Dormio? Gain more insight into the elusive phenomenon of ‘dreaming’. Such a dream catcher on your wrist instead of on the ceiling may provide a lot of knowledge.