Scientists demonstrate ability to control smart devices from within lucid dreams

Scientists have shown it is possible to control smart home devices from within lucid dreams using muscle signals, opening up intriguing possibilities for dream-reality interaction.

In a new study, researchers have shown it is possible for people to operate smart home devices like lights, kettles, and radios from within lucid dreams – dreams in which the person is aware they are dreaming.

This discovery opens up a new realm of possibilities for the practical application of lucid dreaming and the integration of our dream world with waking reality.

The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, involved one experienced lucid dreamer sleeping in a laboratory over multiple nights.

Electromyography (EMG) sensors were placed on the participant’s muscles to detect signals that were then translated into voice commands for smart home devices.

The commands were simple, such as “Alice, light” to turn a light on or off, “Alice, kettle” to switch a kettle on or off, and “Alice, radio” to turn a radio on or off.

Over the course of the experiment, the participant successfully executed these commands from within verified lucid dreams (lucid dreaming was confirmed by pre-arranged eye movements which were detected by devices monitoring the participant’s sleep).

On the first night, the participant turned a light on and off using EMG sensors on their forehead.

On the second night, they switched a kettle on using sensors on their forearms.

And on the third night, they turned on a radio, again using forearm sensors.

One small step for lucid dreaming

While research on lucid dreaming has been increasing in recent years, this study demonstrates a new practical application – the ability to control one’s physical environment and interact with technology from within a dream.

Previous studies have shown potential benefits of lucid dreaming such as improving physical skills, enhancing mood, and treating chronic nightmares.

In recent years, scientists have also been able to communicate with lucid dreamers in real-time and have participants complete assigned tasks from within their dreams.

But the direct operation of real-world devices takes this dream-reality connection to a new level.

The researchers caution that this is an early proof-of-concept, and that a lot more work is needed to make this a reliable and accessible technology.

In particular, techniques for inducing lucid dreams are not yet consistent or practical for most people.

Specialized devices that can comfortably read signals from the body during sleep would also need to be developed for consumer use.

Working in your sleep

But the potential future applications are intriguing.

Could we one day prepare our home environment or start our morning coffee from within a dream before waking up? Could the limitless creativity of dreams be harnessed to ideate solutions to real-world problems?

In the more distant future, could certain jobs even be conducted from a dreaming state? While highly speculative, this study opens the door to new possibilities.

Bridging the gap between our waking and dreaming realities still remains largely in the realm of science fiction.

But this study provides a tantalizing glimpse of how our dreams may one day interact with and influence the physical world around us.

As the field of lucid dream research continues to evolve, we may soon find ourselves in a world where the boundaries between dreaming and waking life are more blurred than ever before.

Study Information: