Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Dream Machine

PostedDecember 20, 2018

Download File (mp3)

Lede: You might soon be able to get a clearer picture of those “visions of sugar plums” or, better, some great idea that comes to you as you’re falling asleep.

Randy Atkins: That dreamy, semi-conscious period between being awake and asleep is called…

Adam Horowitz: …Hypnagogia. It’s a state of mind that we know is productive from people’s personal experience, but we haven’t figured out quite how to harness it.

Randy Atkins: Adam Horowitz, an MIT grad student, is engineering a way in. He’s part of team developing a device that’s strapped around two fingers and your wrist, monitoring when you’re in hypnagogia using known biological signals. It’s wirelessly connected to a small robot that can suggest a dream subject in your ear at just the right time, then…

Adam Horowitz: …lets you drop into stage two sleep just for a few minutes and then it wakes you up out of it and it reminds you that you’re dreaming and it asks you for a report.

Randy Atkins: The robot records your groggy, but potentially genius, thoughts for later playback and recollection. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.