The internet, smart phones, and on-demand media have ensured we have information and entertainment for our every waking hour. But there are 6 - 8 hours of our daily lives that media tech moguls haven't yet been able to reach - the time we spend asleep.
What if you could wake up every morning smarter and more informed about global affairs? What if you could learn a few more phrases of a new language while you sleep? Netflix CEO Reid Hasting said "We’re competing with sleep, on the margin. And so, it’s a very large pool of time.”
Dream media technology may not be that far off. Facebook is already working on thought-to-text technology that would make thinking status updates five times faster than typing them. And Rodrigo Hübner Mendes drove an F1 car simply by thinking.
DARPA, where the internet was invented, has several projects in Neural Engineering System Design. They say that the problem is also one of connectivity. “Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said Phillip Alvelda, “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
The dream here of course is super-learning. Being able to download skills and abilities like we do apps. So will we need chips inserted into our skulls?
Scientists may have implanted a false memory directly into the brain of a mouse using a laser that shines through its skull. So no surgery needed. Just put on your sleeping cap and frikkin' lasers will shift your neurons into particular patterns to produce behavioural changes, new memories, capabilities, and of course - amazing dreams.
The technology will get there eventually. In the meantime, there are proven techniques to improve the quality of your dreams. Good night!