This is an experience I have been waiting for… being part of a hackaton! It has been quite a while since my days at the Studiolab in Delft and it is time to reconnect with my inner scientist…(nerd….;). This three day collective brain quest called HACK the BRAIN is dominated by a sense of empowerment provided by some really nifty tech tools, that allow anyone with a healthy curiosity for the potential of the brain to go totally nuts and come up with REAL prototypes that tap into our brainpower! But the people that are here are not just anyone… They are true hackers that come from a background of software development, agile programming,technology, design, art, psychology & research. You might say that their shared brainpower is something to get exited about. In the first two days I experienced the research discourse of neurobiologists, who have a strong grip on what happens inside of the brain. What they get by adding me to the mix is an external view with a focus on value and market potential… let’s say I am looking at how to make investors go “oooohhh…. that looks promising!”. Our shared arena was a cramped space in the Fablab of Waag society and a wiki where our collected findings were put to share with anyone else interest in building a device that kan induce of evoke LUCID DREAMS...
My personal quest during this hackaton was to see how I could function in a scientific playing field…and see if I could hack it at a hackaton. My role being that of a challenger and frame maker of the boundaries of this project. At first I was struggling with the scientific head start of my teammates, but after a morning of looking and listening I was starting to get what we were going to be hacking. The goal was to create an electrical switch that makes it possible to get sleepers into a STATE of LUCID DREAMING, allowing them to be aware of the DREAM within the dream. WHY? Because the possibilities are bountiful when it comes to the opening of a domain inside our own head. A yet to be discovered space that belongs to you alone… where YOU are in total control and were YOU can decide what happens to your surroundings. Imagine being able to control what you dream… were would you start? This is what kept me busy during the 3 day festival.
To our shared surprise The idea and hack of a switch that could turn on this state of dreaming was enough to be selected as the winner of this years hackaton! With the 4 MUSE headsets and a lot of connections at this amazing event were a destined to follow up on this small leap. And in the immortal summery words of our initiator Lisa:”Don’t follow your dreams…lead the way!”