To order the NovaDreamer click here. The below computer interface box has been discontinued.
[Revised From NightLight 8(1-2), 1996. Copyright, The Lucidity Institute.]
Introducing the Super NovaDreamer
By Lynne Levitan
Ever since the Lucidity Institute began creating lucid dream induction technology, computer owners have asked us how they could connect their DreamLights (has been discontinued) or NovaDreamers to their home computers, so they could combine the power of the two devices. Advantages of such a link-up would be increased ease in adjusting the controls, the ability to maintain records of results with lucid dreaming devices and the opportunity to see visual displays of the data collected over a night.
Right now, The Lucidity Institute is developing software and an interface device that connects the NovaDreamer to a personal computer (initially, Windows or Macintosh). This package, aptly named the SuperNova, enhances the functions of the NovaDreamer, making it easier to use, as well as adding new features.
Convenient, Flexible Adjustment
It allows you to set up programs for the NovaDreamer (e.g. cue length, brightness and type) that you can quickly upload to the NovaDreamer, bypassing the need to use the manual controls on the NovaDreamer.
Specify an Optimal Time for Cues
A new feature provided by the software is the ability to specify a window of sleep time during which you would like to receive cues, for example, in the last three hours of sleep (when REM sleep is most predominant). The SuperNova will also store the number of cues you receive during the night. When you get up from sleep, you can download, from the mask through the interface box and into your home computer, information from the night, including the settings you used and the number of cues the NovaDreamer gave you. The SuperNova software on your computer will make a time-line showing the times at which cues were given, so you can see when the device detected sufficient eye movement activity to trigger a cue, providing thereby a plot of REM period times and lengths. This time-line of cues given will also assist you in finding the optimal eye movement detection sensitivity for the device.
Towards A Smart Alarm Clock
The SuperNova also allows you to use the NovaDreamer to awaken in you in the morning, in lieu of an alarm clock. The SuperNova alarm clock will awaken you with series of beeps that ramp up in intensity, and if that's not enough to wake you, it starts to warble and wail.
Have you noticed that sometimes you wake up from a dream in the middle of the night and are wide-awake and too alert to get back to sleep? If you do finally manage to fall asleep you may wake up later feeling much less alert. This may be due to your awakening from Non-REM sleep (when your brain is less alert and less prepared for action). A software revision is planned for the near future to optimize your time of awakening for maximum alertness (and also good dream recall). The new program will allow you to be awakened from the nearest dream (REM period) to the specified wake-up time, thus guaranteeing that you will be awakened when your brain is ready to get up and go.
Keeping Records for Better Results
Perhaps the most useful feature of the SuperNova software is its creation of a night-to-night record of your work with the NovaDreamer. After downloading the data from the night, you enter additional data, such as your bedtime and rising time, and your observations on your results. For example, you record the number of dreams you recalled, how many cues you saw in dreams, how many cues awakened you, how many lucid dreams you had, and how many lucid dreams were stimulated by cues. You could also keep track of the ways in which the cues are incorporated into your dreams (e.g., as lightning, glowing cat's eyes, flashlights, etc.). With this information, you will readily be able to review how your success relates to different factors, such as cue settings, sensitivity, or sleep time.
During sleep, you wear only the lightweight, self-contained NovaDreamer mask. To upload settings to, or download data from, the NovaDreamer, you connect the sleep mask to the interface box of the SuperNova, and connect the interface box to your computer's serial port. The two cables necessary for these connections will be included in the SuperNova package.
Plans For Future Improvements
The great advantage of developing software to control the NovaDreamer is that it will be easy to create more advanced versions, and the user will be able to benefit from the advances without needing to buy new costly hardware. One plan for the near future of the SuperNova software is to add the ability to set the time within the REM period when cues will be given, to optimize chances of cue incorporation. Other functions of the device will be brought under the control of the software, so that the SuperNova approaches the flexibility and power of the DreamLight. Ultimately, we hope to see the software develop into a lucid dream training "expert system" that will guide you step by step through optimizing the cue type, frequency, and timing to meet your goals of mastering lucid dreaming, and that will automatically adjust the settings, so you can use your time to focus on mental preparation.
If you already own a NovaDreamer and a home computer, then the SuperNova package will allow you to increase their power and flexibility, for more effective results with lucid dream training. If you have personal computer, but no lucid dream induction device, the SuperNova provides a new way for you to get more from your investment in your computer, using it to accelerate your development of lucid dreaming skills.
Yet another benefit of the SuperNova is that it will facilitate communication with the Lucidity Institute when you have questions about your device or your progress. If you send us your data, along with your question, and we will be a much better position to help you as well as to see how the NovaDreamer is working for you. Furthermore, future NightLight experiments may involve use of the NovaDreamer, and the SuperNova data collection format will make tabulation of results much easier both for you and us.
The first SuperNovas will ship in June, 1997. See below for details on ordering. You can read the manual online in html format or download a copy in Acrobat format (PDF: 182K / 28 pages). You can get Acrobat Reader free from Adobe.
The SuperNovaDreamer computer interface box has been discontinued. To order the NovaDreamer click here.
Prototype screen of Macintosh version of SuperNovaDreamer software.