No, it can't make you dream of Ryan Gosling -- at least not yet. But a new iPhone app introduced at the Edinburgh International Science Festival this week may help dreamers attain visions of sandy beaches, peaceful gardens and more thanks to technology that syncs sound with users' sleep cycles.
In short, the application, called "Dream:On," works by monitoring users' movements during sleep and playing a chosen "Soundscape" when it senses he or she has entered the stage of sleep when dreams occur, The Next Web explains. The user may not respond to the app at first, but after enough nights of repeated use, they may start incorporating the sounds into their dreams.
"We have created a new way of carrying out mass participation experiments. We still know relatively little about the science of dreaming and this app may provide a real breakthrough in changing how we dream, and record and track those dreams," the application's developer Richard Wiseman, a professor at the University Hertfordshire, said on the product's web page.
The app's website emphasizes that Dream:On is a "social experiment," meaning it intends for users to record their dreams and share their experiences with friends. In fact, the developers allege that the app's effectiveness relies on user feedback, which it uses to adjust the volume and timing of the soundscapes each night.
But in order for the app to receive the most accurate feedback from users, it has to wake them up right after they're done dreaming - so heavy sleepers be warned.
Of course, if users want a greater selection of visions to choose from, they'll have to purchase more soundscapes at a cost of $1.10 each through the "Dream Store."
"Dream:On" isn't the first iPhone app designed with dream-control in mind. A number of previous apps like Lucid Dream "Brainwave" and "DreamZ" claim to help users achieve "lucid dreams" -- dreams in which the sleeper is aware that he or she is dreaming -- by emitting beats and tones that correspond to a certain frequency of brainwave.
Check out the promotional video for Dream:On above.