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New App Aims To Track Your Dreams 112

Posted by timothy
from the best-entertainment-in-the-world dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Liz Stinson reports that 'Shadow,' a new app recently launched on Kickstarter, will make recording and remembering your dreams simple. 'There's a lot going on in the subconscious mind that if you can start to pull out little details, you start to get a wider picture of yourself,' says designer Hunter Lee Soik. Most of the time, alarm clocks abruptly blast through your consciousness, ripping you from the depths of sleep. In contrast, Shadow's alarm system gradually transitions users through their hypnopompic state, that not-quite-asleep, not-quite-awake phase, which has be proven to help you better remember your dreams. Once you deactivate the alarm, users are prompted to record their dreams either via voice or typing text. The app then transcribes your dreams and stores them in an ever-growing digital dream journal that keeps track of your long-term dream and sleep patterns and helps you visualize patterns and make connections between your sleep patterns, daily life, and what you dream about. 'We're socialized to think of sleep as inactivity, but certain parts of our brain — the parts that handle things like problem solving and memory — are most active while we're sleeping,' says Soik. 'That's a huge amount of potential data we're forgetting each morning.'" I prefer a notebook on the nightstand, myself.
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New App Aims To Track Your Dreams

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  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:50AM (#44893597)

    data?

    • I say, if the NSA wants half coherent snatches of the population's dreams, let'em have it.

      This is definitely a Do Not Want for me. Think about it. Look at everyone here. How much of their subconcious do you really want to know about? Doritos lazily floating in a sea of Dvorak keyboard caps? Belly button lint black holes?

      Not a fucking chance, guys.

      • I say, if the NSA wants half coherent snatches of the population's dreams, let'em have it.

        I gather you haven't seen what teens text to each other.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        If anyone wants to go into my dreams, be my guest. But expect to come out like those vegetables in Dreamscape [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is EVERYTHING on slashdot about the frikkin NSA? Here's a picture of a kitten : OMG its an NSA spy!!!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Is EVERYTHING on slashdot about the frikkin NSA? Here's a picture of a kitten : OMG its an NSA spy!!!

        You are obviously an NSA shill.

    • Alternately, what will YOU do with that data? Dreams are entertaining uselessness (though they might have some physiological purpose), as far as I can tell, like cartoons.........
    • data?

      Make a cellular peptide cake, with mint frosting?

    • by TripleE78 (883800)

      Screw that, I'm waiting until this turns into Futurama style blasting commercials into your dreams.

      Because you know that's next.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:56AM (#44893659)

    There is one simple, proven, way to help remember your dreams.

    When you wake up, don't move. Recall your dreams then write them down.

    With practice you can easily recall 3 or more dreams.

    • by jmrives (1019046)
      Back when I used to record my dreams, I found that if I recalled them in reverse chronological order, I was able to go further back into my dream. By this, I mean you start by what happened last, then try to remember what happened before that and so forth.
    • How will you then patent troll or license peoples dreams?
  • Dream Recorder (Score:5, Informative)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @10:56AM (#44893663) Journal

    I have this on my Mac:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070602172914/http://www.dream-recorder.com/ [archive.org]

    That was from 2007. There were newer versions:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080704183437/http://www.dream-recorder.com/ [archive.org]

    Never tested it seriously. And I remember reading about an iOS-App in the last year or so ...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The only privacy that's left is the inside of your head. Maybe that's enough."
    -1998 Enemy of the State

    Enough is never enough with these kind of people.

    • Enough is never enough with these kind of people.

      Several tools are being developed that can look inside your brain while you are being interrogated. These include EEG [wikipedia.org] to measure your brains electrical activity, and fMRI [wikipedia.org] to measure metabolism. So far these are too bulky to be used surreptitiously, but "they" are working on that. Invest in tinfoil.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/sleepasandroid/

    Lucid Dreaming

    Thank me later.
    • by Megahard (1053072)

      Thanks, that's great. But what about tracking the Android? I want to know when it's dreaming about those electric sheep.

    • by sjwt (161428)

      Looks awesome, installing now.. and its 2am, guess I'll be finding out how well it works in 4-5 hours.

      • by sjwt (161428)

        Been using it for a few days so far, and it seems good, It wakes me up in a much better state of mind.

    • I use it myself, great alarm and white noise (my street is really noisy), and binaural beats help me avoid thinking about things while falling asleep.
      However the lucid dreaming mode always sounds a bit too late for me, when I am actually awake. I am narcoleptic and perhaps that influences the measurements, but, alas, I could never it to work...

  • Apparently, the porn is happening while asleep....

  • There are only about a million dream tracking apps in the Google Play store already.

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

      Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

  • by Hatta (162192)

    Of what use is recording your dreams?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:19AM (#44893901)

      Because dreams provide an insight into your superconsciousness (subconscious has been mislabeled)

      Because you can Lucid Dream.

      Because you explore higher realities and learn about yourself.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Because dreams provide an insight into your superconsciousness

        How has this assertion been demonstrated empirically?

        Because you can Lucid Dream.

        And what's the benefit of that?

        Because you explore higher realities and learn about yourself.

        What reason is there to believe that "higher realities" exist? What reason is there to believe that dreams help you "learn about yourself" any more than reading tea leaves?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Forget all that existential bullshit. Lucid dreaming is FUN. :)

          • Fuck yes. I lost the ability to lucid dream, but when I was in my early twenties, I'd be able to realise I was in a dream and use superpowers I'd had in previous dreams. Imagine all the best videos games you've ever played, then smoosh them together however you want!

        • It has been speculated (by this fellow [wikipedia.org], before you start getting cranky and waving around questions about credibility) that the whole sleeping and dreaming process might actually be a maintenance procedure. A certain type of artificial neural network, called a restricted Boltzmann machine [wikipedia.org], undergoes a process where it back-calculates fake input data based on what it's seen (much like human dreams) and then uses that fake data as a guide to correct errors in its weights (i.e. to remove and correct false corr

          • But what happens if you like a lot of the dreams that you remember?

            Am I broken or something?

            • Not necessarily; it just means that you're undergoing the same thing in the opposite direction; you like what's happening too much to let go; any strong emotion can probably cause dream-remembering. A particular dream may not actually contain very much content your brain's trying to forget, either; for example, if you have dreams that just consist of your daily routine with nothing unusual happening, then there's not much to change. That being said, though, it could be a sign that you're holding onto a hope
          • > the dreams we remember might actually be a bad thing, because it suggests they invoked something too powerful to sleep through. This could explain why nightmares recur: our brains are trying to forget, but we keep remembering them consciously.

            You will never overcome something by running away from it.

        • by chihowa (366380)

          How has this assertion been demonstrated empirically?

          How can you empirically demonstrate something if you don't collect data to test the assertion? Science is fun and there's no reason to avoid amateur science, especially if there's no expensive equipment to buy!

          Reading tea leaves may be bunk, but dreams often/sometimes appear to deal with a lot of personally important information. If analysis of them doesn't prove informative, it's at least entertaining. You understand the benefits of entertainment, right?

          Which leads me to lucid dreaming. Holy shit is that f

        • Because dreams provide an insight into your superconsciousness

          How has this assertion been demonstrated empirically?

          It is difficult to demonstrate empirically because there are many uncontrolled variables. And the methodologies that have been developed for other applications such as clinical trials aren't ideally suited here. By way of analogy, progress in physics in the 19th and 20th centuries required development of statistical tools to deal with measurement uncertainty. Here there's uncertainty also, but its of a different type, where the parameters of the study itself are difficult to control. It is possible to g

          • by Hatta (162192)

            It is difficult to demonstrate empirically because there are many uncontrolled variables.

            Which is one of the reasons it stinks of woo.

            Much of what a person can experience while lucid dreaming is difficult to interpret and understand, and people tend to describe things to themselves in a way that may not be very accurate or objective.

            And that's another reason.

            But I think you're a bit out of your element here, like someone who has merely used a computer forming strong opinions about kernel development.

            I think

            • Certainly an expert in the field would be able to convey why it is a worthwhile endeavor. Can anyone offer me a shred of evidence that there is signal in the noise of dreams?

              I can do that if you tell me what sort of information you would regard as evidence, provided of course that you haven't decided the outcome already.

              I don't claim though that there is signal in the noise of your dreams, or that dream recall is worthwhile for you personally. Some people dream vividly for much of their time asleep, and its an important part of their problem solving process. Other people do more of the same kind of thinking while awake, or they don't do much of it at all. Personally I don't

              • by Hatta (162192)

                Any measurable phenomenon that is inconsistent with dreams being mere noise. e.g. randomly assign people to record their dreams, or play a crossword puzzle immediately after waking. Then measure performance on some test. If there are differences in performance that are statistically significant, it's likely that dreams have meaningful content.

                • With this kind of test, conversations with your mom or your best friend, which I hope are not "mere noise", would almost certainly fail to demonstrate meaningful content.

                  • by Hatta (162192)

                    No, those conversations could easily pass this test. e.g., have me talk to my mom, and then test me on things I could only have learned from my mom. e.g. her lasagna recipe. Or write a number on a card, show that card to my friend, have me converse with my friend, and then ask me what number was written on the card.

                    • You've added an additional step that is possible with your mom or your friend but quite a bit more difficult with the subconscious part of your mind. They communicate with the test maker without you being aware of what was said. Take that communication between them and the test maker away, and the test fails for your mom or friend. Yet even without that you still must have some way of determining that your conversations with them are not just noise.

          • I think you're a smart guy Hatta, one of the best /. contributors. But I think you're a bit out of your element here, like someone who has merely used a computer forming strong opinions about kernel development.

            That analogy seems to imply that people who waffle new-agey platitudes are somehow experts. I can't say they're wrong, but I wouldn't defer to their judgement anyway. When people talk about "higher realities" and "deeper truths" and the like, they're forcing the assumption that these unmeasurable subjective experiences are more fundamental to the universe than the laws of physics, and anyone is within their rights to call bullshit on that.

            • That analogy seems to imply that people who waffle new-agey platitudes are somehow experts. I can't say they're wrong, but I wouldn't defer to their judgement anyway. When people talk about "higher realities" and "deeper truths" and the like, they're forcing the assumption that these unmeasurable subjective experiences are more fundamental to the universe than the laws of physics, and anyone is within their rights to call bullshit on that.

              People who waffle new-agey platitudes may or may not understand much of anything, and I wouldn't defer to their judgment in any case.

              But if you want to know what you're talking about when calling bullshit, you need an adequate understanding of the ostensibly "unmeasurable subjective experiences" in question. How unmeasurable and subjective are they really? Are they in agreement with the remarkably successful model commonly thought of as "laws of physics", or do they contradict it, or do they fall outside o

        • You're like a blind man asking "What's so important about sight?"

          How can you understand the answer if you don't have a frame of reference?

          > What reason is there to believe that "higher realities" exist?
          They do whether _you_ believe them or not.

          Lucid Dreaming and the Out-of-Body experiences provide an option to face your fears, to learn about yourself, to understand your Higher Self. Now if you don't wish to understand yourself that is your choice if you wish to remain ignorant. I'm just telling you hav

          • by Hatta (162192)

            You're like a blind man asking "What's so important about sight?"

            Do you really think any blind person doesn't realize how important sight is? It's pretty easy to explain, and trivial to demonstrate abilities that sight provides that the sightless do not have. Any blind person can be easily convinced that sight exists by performing experiments. Can you do the same with dream analysis?

            > What reason is there to believe that "higher realities" exist?
            They do whether _you_ believe them or not.

            Sure, just lik

            • by narcc (412956)

              Do you really think any blind person doesn't realize how important sight is? It's pretty easy to explain,

              Cool, can you help me out? I'm having an awful time understanding color. What's it like to experience that?

              and trivial to demonstrate abilities that sight provides that the sightless do not have. Any blind person can be easily convinced that sight exists by performing experiments. Can you do the same with dream analysis?

              Total Nonsense.

        • by narcc (412956)

          How has this assertion been demonstrated empirically?

          Hell, dreams haven't been demonstrated empirically.

          Don't they teach you kids anything about epistemology these days?

  • by Prune (557140) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @11:28AM (#44893951)
    Have any of the people that push dream diaries, including this modern version, thought that perhaps there's an evolutionary reason that we don't often remember our dreams, and most of us, rarely in great detail?
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Wouldn't the only way to answer such a question be to, in fact, record dreams?
      How else would you determine if there is an evolutionary advantage to not remembering them?

    • Have any of the people that push dream diaries, including this modern version, thought that perhaps there's an evolutionary reason that we don't often remember our dreams, and most of us, rarely in great detail?

      Perhaps there's an evolutionary reason, perhaps not. But does it matter? With a little practice you can get pretty good at remembering your dreams. Keeping a diary helps a lot: I've tried it and definitely saw a difference in both volume and detail of recalled dreams. Pen and paper works just fine.

    • by GuB-42 (2483988)

      If there is an evolutionary reason it may be simply because the brain have things more important to do than recording the incoherent mess that our dreams are made of. Especially if we consider that dreams are the result of various thoughts and memories that may be available in other, much more coherent forms.

    • by JThundley (631154)

      Man didn't evolve being jolted out of sleep by alarm clocks. More likely they were awoken gradually by light or animals waking up. Maybe ancient man remembered more dreams than modern man.

  • > "users are prompted to record their dreams either via voice"

    *BZZZZZT* PLEASE STATE DREAM FOR RECORDING

    I dreamt I was hitting on Victoria Justice, and she was gonna take her pants off, but then she ran over to Debby Ryan and that Zhendaya chick and they pointed at my crotch and started laughing then they started making put but pulled down a wicker shade so I couldn't see, so I was gonna try to peek through it but my mom was there so I just kinda stood next to it waiting for her to leave but she was tal

    • by PPH (736903)

      "I dreamt I was hitting on Victoria Justice, and she was gonna take her pants off,....

      That's as far as I got when my wife woke up and slugged me. I'll be dictating tomorrow night's dreams from the sofa in the den.

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      > not sure how I knew that but I did

      Reminds me of a weird one I had where I was talking to a friend of mine. Of course, the thing was, I knew who I was talking to, and I knew that the person in question was white and over 300 lbs, and not a skinny little asian girl, like the person I was talking to....but... I "knew" it was her; there was no question, in the moment, it was as natural as could be.

  • Having watched Final Fantasy: Spirits Within I'll let you know what people will do with this data: they'll convict you for sympathizing with the enemy.
    Go Privacy!
  • I want an app that lets me keep all the money I find in money dreams.

  • http://www.now-zen.com/ [now-zen.com]

    That is what this reminds me of. A friend of mine bought me one many years back. It was just a normal lock, but with a metal bar strapped on the front and the alarm mechanism was a striker that would make a gentle "ding".

    It starts out with one ding, then another 3 minutes later, and increases in frequency over the next 10 minutes until it is making a ding every 3 seconds.

    I really liked it until it made for a very gentle wake up....that is...it did until it fell off a table and broke.

  • Once you deactivate the alarm, users are prompted to record their dreams either via voice or typing text.

    Haha, too funny. I can barely type on those damn little touchscreens with a relatively low rate of autocorrect goof-ups when I'm wide awake, good luck getting anything coherent out of me right after waking from a deep sleep...and voice would wake up my spouse.

    I guess there's always pen and paper, but again, my handwriting is guaranteed to be illegible if I'm still half asleep. Legibility and/or coherency is simply not achievable for me until after my second or third cup of coffee.

  • But will it help you remember those creepy guys in the suits from The Silence?
  • by hAckz0r (989977) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @12:48PM (#44894697)
    I have known about the ability to work out problems in your sleep for many years. In my younger life I would write entire programs in my sleep that solved intractable problems, and all I had to do was drive into work and type them in. When I went to sleep all I had to do was to keep going over the issues in my head to keep the ideas available for when my mind started being more creative, and let it work out the design issues with timing interrupts, multi-threading issues, etc. The technique worked out a lot of the complexity and tended to find solutions to very difficult problems. I have even logically debugged real-time issues in my sleep just by thinking thing over in my sleep.

    .
    Fast forward, I'm a lot older now and have moved on to other problems, in a more scientific environment. For the last 13 years I applied this same technique to all the unanswered logical paradox in physics and have worked through all these issues as well. The answer is rather simple physical model that naturally gives rise to gravity through quantum processes, describes entanglement, double-slit, etc, but now I am left with the hard core mathematics of trying to actually prove the resulting theory. Unfortunately, I have found that this sleep/problem-solving technique apparently hits a proverbial brick wall when you get into an area where you are not properly schooled to work things out completely in your head.

    Are there any physics oriented mathematicians out there who love GR, SR, QM, and thermodynamics and could do this kind of stuff in their head? Thought not, but I had to ask! Tried to hire one last week, but couldn't find one who knew this stuff _and_ was willing to be associated with a non-mainstream theory. So I guess I just need to retire, go back to school, and to learn all the math that I need. If I'm lucky enough to even live that long. Writing scientific papers doesn't work in my sleep either. Boring... My sleeping hours are so much more fun these days, if I can remember what I was doing. I'm now spending way to many hours up at night trying to pick up the math I need instead of 'sleeping on it'.

    • > In my younger life I would write entire programs in my sleep that solved intractable problems

      I've done this too, several times. I can't tell you how many times I spent all afternoon on something and got nothing but errors, and the next morning I have it done and working 30 minutes after I get to work. I don't recall what I dreamed those times though. It could have just been a good night's sleep that helped.

      One time, however, I remember very clearly figuring out how to loop through some data and get the

  • It's called "sleep as android". It not only has that same alarm feature, but also uses phones built in motion sensors to graph your deep sleep. Why does this need a kick start? it's a very simple app
  • "Shadow, take a note; I just had the weirdest dream. I was dreaming I was eating a large candy bar but it tasted terrible and it was really, really hard. Why is my mouth bleeding? Hey, are you getting any of this? Wait... where's my phone?"
  • Next step is to collect dream information, leaving the door open to advertising for the subconscious: you do not know you want to buy this product, but we know it is your dream!
  • Seem to have any education or interest in how the mind works, the nature of consciousness, or even basic psychology or philosophy.

    I'm beginning to see now the downside of tech, how evil it really is. If you don't understand your own mind, or have any clue as to the nature of your own conscious or unconscious, what good are any of your opinions or perceptions ?

    What really stuns me about this topic is how so many people seem unable to even use a search engine to look for information - maybe people need
  • My writings would all be something like:

    "Fckng SHIT APP!! #%@#$%, STP WAKING ME UP!!!!!"

    Of course, it wouldn't be read by anybody because my iPad would be utterly and totally obliterated after it woke me up for the second time.

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