A new Kickstarter project, SHADOW, aims to collect and analyze the stories that we experience while we sleep.
Every night around the world, people crawl into their beds, close their eyes, and dream. When they wake up, the worlds they built in their minds disappear.
What goes on in those worlds? What could we know about humans if we could see those dreams?
Those are the questions a new app, being launched on Kickstarter today, seeks to answer. On its surface, SHADOW, as the app is called, is an alarm clock. But it is also much more than an alarm clock: It is an app for building a database of dreams.
SHADOW will wake its users up over a five- to 30-minute period of escalating sounds. The slow, gradual call reveille is intended to preserve a state in which people can more easily recall their dreams. As soon as the user turns off the alarm, a microphone setting turns on, and users can recount their dreams, which the app will transcribe into text. The app will then pull out keywords, and push the dream content to the cloud.
"Modern alarm clocks actually destroy dreams," founder Hunter Lee Soik told me, "because what they do is that they rip you through your hypnopompic sleep state so fast -- that's the state between sleeping and waking."