A real nightmare: Tech that lets you work in your sleep

Tech startup Prophetic is working on a headpiece to harness lucid dreams.

You know that recurring nightmare — the one where you find out there’s a math test worth 90% of your grade, but you didn’t even know about the class?

An Asian woman sleeping at her desk with a laptop and headphones. A thought bubble filled with computer code hovers over her head.

Unfortunately, we have a scarier scenario: working… while you’re asleep.

The worst part about this one? It might be real.

Tech startup Prophetic has already raised $1m+ to develop a headpiece called the Halo, which the company says could one day allow users to control their dreams.

‘Scuse me?

It’s as weird as it sounds. A lucid dream is a state between wake and sleep, where an individual is aware they’re dreaming.

If tech could help individuals harness lucid dreams, they would — in theory — be able to induce them on demand and use that time productively (e.g., on a work project).

Per Fortune, Prophetic is on it:

  • The headband is worn like a crown and releases sound waves into the region of the brain responsible for lucid dreams.
  • The beams will then activate parts of the brain that control our awareness and decision-making.

The product’s tech is based on ongoing research from the Donders Institute in the Netherlands.

And there’s a familiar brain behind the operation: Afshin Mehin, who designed the N1 brain implant for Elon Musk’s Neuralink, is working on the Halo.

Halos will cost ~$1.5k-$2k each, and customers can reserve one ahead of time with a $100 down payment.

Inducing lucid dreams…

… has been attempted before. There are a handful of products — headbands, eye masks, and supplements — that promise to give you control of your dreams.

And the demand is there:

  • Neuroscientists estimate that ~70% of people experience lucid dreaming at least once in their lifetime.
  • We spend about one-third of our lives asleep.

Enthusiasts believe lucid dreams can help people solve complex problems and access untapped creativity.

Whether that’s true remains to be seen, but we’d like our day jobs to stay out of our dreams.

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