Prophetic opened its bookings for users to test its Halo: a headband that aims to control dreaming.
The startup claims the Halo can shoot signals to the user's brain when a wearer enters REM sleep.
But the company hasn't provided tangible proof yet that their dream machine works.
A neural-tech startup is trying to use AI to make something like "Inception" a reality.
The dream-inducing device sounds like a sci-fi gadget — though it's not clear whether the dream machine works outside of the lab.
Prophetic has opened up registration for beta users to try its Halo, what it calls a non-invasive, wearable headband that it claims can "induce and stabilize lucid dreams."
Retailing at an estimated $2,000, the Halo is run on Morpheus-1 — Prophetic's multimodal AI model trained on brain data. The startup claims the model can use ultrasound holograms instead of written prompts to stimulate the prefrontal cortex part of the brain.
Essentially, a user wears the Halo to sleep. When the headband detects that the wearer has reached REM — the stage of deep sleep where dreaming occurs — the device activates a series of instructions that the company says can send signals to the brain to induce dreaming.
"It will be autonomously happening while you wear the headband," Prophetic CEO and cofounder Eric Wollberg said in a demo where he describes how the Halo works.
Prophetic didn't immediately respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider when asked whether the device has been successfully tested on humans or whether there are potential safety concerns around its usage.
Some research suggests that targeted ultrasound simulation can enhance working memory.
Wollberg didn't respond to a request for comment when reached through email and X.
Still, people seem to be interested in testing the headband out.
More than 400 users signed up just four hours after the beta program was launched, Wollberg wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The world’s first multi-modal generative ultrasonic transformer designed to induce and stabilize lucid dreams.
Available for beta users Spring 2024 pic.twitter.com/crFJ0aNblP
— Prophetic (@PropheticAI) January 25, 2024
Prophetic's AI-powered dream machine is one of the more ambitious commercial devices that aim to induce lucid dreaming.
It joins a line of wearable sleep aid devices like the Neuroon Open sleeping mask, the Aurora Dreamband, and the InstaDreamer bracelet that claims to help wearers take control of their dreams, though many of these products don't appear to be available for purchase just yet.
Outside of dream-inducing devices, the market for brain technology appears to be heating up.
In 2016, Elon Musk founded Neuralink, a company behind a brain implant that the tech billionaire says aims to record and stimulate brain activity like a "Fitbit in your skull." He claimed the chip could someday cure conditions like autism and schizophrenia.
On Monday, Musk claimed that the first implant had been inserted into a human patient's brain safely.
Silicon Valley investors also seem to be betting millions on startups like Paradromics and Synchron, which are building machines designed to meld brains with computers to address health ailments.
But Prophetic says its mission is more existential than simply achieving medical breakthroughs.
"Since the beginning, Prophetic's mission has been to give humanity the tools to explore and expand consciousness," Prophetic said on X. "Morpheus-1 is a leap forward in that mission, moving us closer to ultrasonically inducing conscious experiences on-demand and changing the world forever."
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