Over the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of questions about the latest highly hyped Kickstarter lucid dreaming machine, Instadreamer.
Consider this a quick "blog-style"article. It's a little rushed out, but I feel an early warning is far more important than a late but polished article.
Now, ignoring the tacky and misleading name, there are so many reasons why I’d hugely recommend avoiding this and other hype-fuelled so-called lucid dreaming devices that crop up regularly on Kickstarter.
In fact, if you’ve already backed this project, I’d recommend getting a refund while you still can.
For those who’d rather not read, here’s my tongue-in-cheek video that explains why (but it’s a serious message).
Otherwise, here are just a handful of reasons this particular device seems incredibly suspect:
1 - The prototype is a smart-watch poorly hidden under electrical tape - Yet in the campaign they try to hint/claim that they have “built” a prototype. Now that’s a shocking lapse in honesty right of the bat. Do they have the expertise to bring a device to market? If they’ve only run tests using an off-the-shelf smartwatch, why not just release the software as an app and allow people to just buy as smartwatch for the same price but with many other features? (I think we know the answer to that one... $$$)
2 - The principle is nothing new and applied in flawed fashion - Pavlovian response (classical conditioning) is something lucid dreamers have been doing for a long time - only with more finesse and with additional skills. This is the entire principle behind Reality Checks. Although traditional reality checks also combine observation, knowledge of one’s dreams etc. It’s also the principle behind other lucid dreaming devices - Both the NovaDreamer and REM Dreamer required the user to perform reality checks during waking hours whenever they see a flashing light (which will then be supplied during dreams via the device). So, they’re automating reality check cues - which is basically another way of saying that they’re removing observation and awareness from the process - doesn’t that sound a bit backwards when lucidity is about awareness? Another problem is that vibrations are really not very good at crossing over into the dream world. Many have experimented with this with little success. Mostly, vibrations seem to wake users, which is why it’s a common “silent alarm” for most smartwatches and phones.
3- Learning to reality check based on random vibrations is counterproductive - Reality checks should require observation, awareness, critical thinking and be linked to dreamlike events (something that requires one to become familiar with one’s own dreamworld in order to achieve). The Pavlovian response is only one tiny factor that lucid dreamers employ during regular reality checks - and not a particularly important one. Moreover, any experienced lucid dreamer will tell you that reality checks alone are not the single key to nightly lucid dreams. So, dumbing them down further into an automated mindlessness act is a ridiculous concept.
4 - Using an accelerator and heart-rate monitor to assess when one enters REM is a very imprecise means to of doing so - More precise devices such as the NovaDreamer and REM Dreamer which monitor eye movements directly have already been proven to not be particularly effective at inducing lucid dreams. The Instadreamer is a step-down from previous devices and yet they claim to be revolutionary.
There are many more reasons, many of which I cover in my video, so here’s that link again:
Don’t waste your money on hype and false hope. This device cannot and will not live up to its claims. Lucid dreaming is a natural skill you can learn at no cost. These guys are no different from people trying to sell you the air you breathe (only in this case, the air would be toxic). Please do your bit to raise awareness and help others avoid wasting their money on this and other devices. They do little more than disappoint and turn people away from lucid dreaming.