Like Inception – MIT researchers want to hack our dreams

Can we interact with our dreams? It sounds like inception at first, but a team of researchers at MIT is making it possible in the university’s Dream Lab. According to recent reports, they are now releasing an open source device that can control dreams in a variety of ways.

The visionary goal of the MIT team is to “hack” dreams and make them controllable and useful.


“Whether you’re talking about memory augmentation or creativity augmentation or improving mood the next day or improving test performance, there’s all these things you can do at night that are practically important”- Adam Horowitz, PhD student at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group


Dormio, a device that at first glance looks like a glove, was developed by the Dream Lab team. Through its built-in sensors, the device detects the sleep state of the wearer and, as soon as the wearer enters a state between consciousness and subconsciousness, it plays a pre-recorded audio element, usually consisting of a single word.

Dormio: Interfacing with Dreams (Source: ACM SIGCHI)


In a broadly laid out experiment, the team succeeded in this way to bring for example a tiger into the dream of the experiment participants by Dormio speaking the word “tiger”.

On Github the biosignal tracking software is online and there is a step by step guide to make your own Dormio glove.

The team hopes that with their research they will be able to give people control over their dreams and make us, while we sleep, more productive.


Post Picture: MIT

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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