About Aurora Dream Enhancing Headband
Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon that has been widely written about for thousands of years, although a recent development known as the Aurora Dream Enhancing Headband by iWinks claims to use a combination of light and sound to lower the barrier to this dream state, or what iWinks refers to as “mother nature’s own virtual reality.” This way, the company claims that the Aurora Headband can help you connect with your subconscious and to understand your dreams, catalog them, and even shape them.
Even with its interesting concept and original design though, can you truly expect the iWinks Aurora to improve your chances of experiencing a lucid dream, or does it just amount to a fancy alarm clock?
How the iWinks Aurora Headband Claims to Help Improve Lucid Dreaming
Despite the technical name, lucid dreaming simply refers to an instance when a dreamer becomes aware that they’re dreaming, and repeated exposure to lucid dreams may help provide real-world benefits such as reduced stress and improved skills. However, lucid dreaming can take a long time to master, and the iWinks Aurora Headband claims to help you cut down the learning curve. But how?
The iWinks Aurora is worn similar to a headband, but also includes an oval plastic sensor that rests comfortably on your forehead. This sensor takes EEG brain wave measurements and uses them to determine when you’re in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) mode, which is the brain state most conducive to lucid dreaming.
Once REM sleep is detected, the Aurora Headband’s LEDs will emit colored light, and will also play sound through whatever desktop, iOS, or Android device you have connected via low-energy (LE) Blutooth. iWinks claims that you can fully customize the pattern and color of light, as well as the sound cues you receive, which are claimed to act as “dreamsigns” that send a signal to you that it’s time to take control of your dream. However, iWinks claims that although the Aurora Headband’s audio and visual cues can alert you that you’re dreaming, they’re not strong enough to wake you up (see more about this in the final section).
In addition to its “standard” mode, the Dream Enhancing Headband has a standalone mode that enables Blutooth-free use, and can even be used without a device altogether, although this means that you’ll lose the ability for an audio cue during REM sleep. The Aurora also features an accelerometer that measures movement, a heart rate monitor, the ability to store and manage your sleep data with any LE-capable smart device, as well as a USB port for charging the device and for downloading updates. In fact, the iWinks Aurora Headband can even be used as an alarm clock to wake you up when you’re most likely to feel refreshed.
The manufacturer claims that the Headband will last up to one week on a single charge, and that their API will allows third-party developers to create apps for the iWinks Aurora in the near future.
How Much Does the Aurora Headband Cost? Are Refunds Available?
The Aurora Headband began as a Kickstarter project, which was fully funded on 1/21/14. In fact, although the startup’s goal was only $90K, they’ve raised nearly $240K to date. With this said, iWinks Headbands are still available for pre-order at $199, and the estimated ship date is currently November 2014.
Pre-order refunds are available up to 4 weeks after your initial order is placed, less a 15% restocking fee.
Can the iWinks Aurora Enhance Your Dreams?
Think of all the possibilities available if you could just control your dreams. Every night could be a new adventure, from outer space to otherworldly dimensions that are barely imaginable and even less describable.
If the mind is the truly final frontier, can the iWinks Dream Enhancing Headband really help you take control of your dreams and to “have the most beneficial and exciting dream life possible?” Perhaps, but keep the following in mind:
Not Yet Released
First, remember that the iWinks Headband has still not been released, therefore there are no online customer reviews for the product. According to this Mashable article, the Headband was originally slated to be released in June 2014 but is now scheduled for November, although the iWinks FAQ page claims the delay is due to having “committed to making a significant upgrade to the Aurora's circuitry enabling it to operate without a connection to an external device.”
On the other hand, we did read numerous professional reviews from other websites including GizMag, CrunchWear, VentureBeat, and more. Ultimately though, most of the articles relayed much of the same information, and it doesn’t appear that any reviewers received a demo Headband in order to test its performance.
There Are No Guarantees You’ll Have a Lucid Dream
Next, take to heart the fact that, even though you’re dropping 200 big ones on the iWinks Headband, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to experience a fully-controlled lucid dream. And even if you are, just like any other new skill you eventually mastered, it might take a fair amount of time and effort to get you there, including learning the light and sound cues that work best for your sleep schedule.
In other words, although the Aurora Dream Headband might help flatten out the learning curve and give you a greater ability to enter the lucid dreaming experience, it also might be a total dud.
Limited Refund Policy
Finally, with an expected release date in November, if you pre-order an iWinks Dream Headband anytime soon, the 4-week refund policy will have passed by the time your unit ships. In this case, even if it doesn’t work at all, you’ll be left with an expensive paperweight. Or perhaps you could turn to Ebay to recoup some of your expenses.
If you’re a tech junky/early adopter and are interested in the possibilities of lucid dreaming, the iWinks Dream Headband might be worth the risk. However, if you only have a passing interest and are just mildly curious, $200 might be considered a lot of money to spend on something that could ultimately prove to be a high-priced gimmick.
Did you give the iWinks Aurora Headband a try? If so, tell us about your experience by writing a review!