Most of the wearables we’ve looked at here have been to do with helping you stay more connected, get fitter or keep track of your kids that bit better. But all of these are activities you take part in while you’re awake, what about improving your sleep? That’s what iWinks is looking to do with its sleep enhancing Aurora headband that purports to give you lucid dreams, as well as a better night’s sleep.
The Aurora is a head band that you wear when you go to bed, that tracks your brain’s activity levels while you sleep. By keeping an eye on what stage of sleep you’re in, Aurora waits until you’re in REM sleep – the time when dreams tend to be most vivid – and sends out very faint audio and visual cue, such as a flashing light or a slight noise. They’re subtle enough that they won’t wake you, but your brain will register them, giving you the chance to recognise that you’re dreaming. From there, you should theoretically be able to control your whole world.
On top of giving you a better chance at lucid dreaming though, Aurora is also designed to help you sleep better. One of the problems with our modern alarm clocks, is that while they get us up at a certain time, that’s not necessarily ideal for our sleep patterns. To make sure that you get up feeling as refreshed as possible, the Aurora wakes you when you’re on the tail end of your REM sleep cycle, giving you plenty of dreaming, but less drowsiness than if you were woken in one of the deeper sleep cycles.
As it stands, you can only pre-order the Aurora, though it is set to ship this June. While early Kickstarter backers got in there and secured one for just $150, though wanting one now will mean you’ll need to shell out $200 (£117) + extra for shipping if you’re outside the US.
As much as I want to try out one of these devices, there are some problems that I’d want addressed before buying. Firstly, does it work? Until we get some information outside of the company of real world users trying it out, I’m a little sceptical that the cues won’t just wake you up. Secondly, while I like the idea of being woken at an ideal time for my body, I still need to wake up for work. As long as you can give it a range of times to wake you in, so that perhaps you get up a little early rather than a little late, then it should be alright.
Cost is also going to be a factor. Until we hear how effective the device really is, people will struggle to see £100 as a worthy price to pay.
While I reserve the right to remain sceptical until I get my hands on one of these, the iWinks Aurora does still look pretty exciting. If they want me to test it for them, I’ll happily do it… and keep it afterwards.