Tuesday, 11 November 2014

#scanners - The cinematic experience which allows the viewer's subconscious to project their dreams onto the screen

One of the most frustrating aspects of dream exploration is the brevity of dream memories - often, after waking from a vivid dream we can recall it for a short period before the memories quickly fade and we lose the intricate detail. One answer to this problem would be a device which enables us to record our dreams. While it may be a few years before this technology becomes available to the consumer market, researchers have announced that developments are under way, following the invention of a system which utilises a bio-sensor headset which enables the editing and manipulation of moving images shown on a screen, which responds to the wearer's brain activity. The individualised film is created is a visual record of the wearer's subconscious mind, enabling a glimpse into their 'dream world'. Manchester-based animator, Richard Ramchurn came up with the idea for the #scanners cinema experience which allows each person to see the same film differently from other viewers, in a unique, personalised way. 

Using Kickstarter to fund the project, Ramchurn wrote: 'Narratives and layers can be built that are all governed by the user's concentration and meditation levels. Edit points can be created by monitoring the users blinking...The audience can project their feelings onto the film that they are seeing, the film that they watch will have a series of overlapping structures that they can interact with and/or disregard. 

He states that the aim of the project is to enable individuals to physically see and hear their dreams. The device was tested at Manchester University last year and many of the test subjects compared the experience to lucid dreaming. 

The technique relies on MindWave Mobile headsets, developed by technology company, NeuroSky, and available at a cost of £100 ($159). In the Manchester University trials, subjects were asked to wear the headset whilst watching a short film. The rhythms of the editing and how the movie jumps from scene to scene depends on the mind state of the viewer. Much like a dream, it is impossible to completely control what happens on the screen, but the brain chooses the particular sights and sounds the viewer experiences. Below is the MindWave Mobile headset and a still image taken from the test screening of the #scanners cinematic experience:

Ramchurn was inspired to develop his idea after reading Walter Murch's book, The Blink of an Eye, which compares dreams to movies. While it is easy to remember a film, because you are consciously aware when you watch it, dreams are problematic, because they occur in a subconscious mind and therefore are difficult to recall once conscious. The headset is perfect for exploring dreams as it brings the subconscious mind to the forefront and allows the wearer to experience their unconscious thoughts and emotions, projected onto a screen, whilst in a conscious state. Ramchurn predicts that technological advancement in this area will enable scientists to make detailed dream recording possible in the near future, perhaps even within the next 10 - 15 years. 

Here is a preview of the #scanners innovation from Youtube:

No comments:

Post a Comment