San Diego-based iWinks dreaming big with crowdfunding campaign for Aurora DreamBand

SAN DIEGO - A local startup is hoping "crowdfunding" will make their dream-enhancing dreams come true.

North Park-based company iWinks began a campaign on Kickstarter in mid-December after unveiling their Aurora DreamBand.

The company says the headband measures brain waves and rapid eye movements to determine when the person enters the dream state. It then alerts the person's dream self with customized sounds and flashing lights.

"It sends a signal to your dream self that you are dreaming," said Andrew Smiley, UCSD graduate student and co-founder of iWinks.

When you are aware you're dreaming, it's referred to as a lucid dream.

Co-founder Danny Schoonover cites decades of research of lucid dreams, including some connecting lights and lucid dreams, and others showing lucid dreamers can take control of the dream.

Schoonover wore the headband Wednesday night.

"I saw the lights and realized I was dreaming, and as I was falling, I started flying instead," said Schoonover.

Schoonover points to studies concluding lucid dreamers have fewer nightmares and less stress and other research that says skills performed in lucid dreams become easier to perform once awake.

So far, the Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $70,000, nearly completing its goal of $90,000 by January 21.

Backers who contribute $175 or more will become first in line to obtain a headband, due out in June.

Critics claim lucid dreams are actually a brief moment of wakefulness. Others contend the only real way to prove a lucid dream is by asking the dreamer.

The argument is countered by researchers of lucid dreaming. In one Stanford experiment, trained lucid dreamers were asked to execute deliberate eye movement signals during a lucid dream and did so in studies.

iWinks also has workspaces in Jacksonville and Miami.

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