- PluginHUMAN (Justin Dwyer and Betty Sargeant)
- Thanks to Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University
INTER-DREAM: A VR lullaby machine that’s controlled by a person’s neural function (brainwaves). This immersive multi-sensory installation helps people form a personal connection with their resting mind. Participants wear EEG (electroencephalogram) and VR headsets. We track the electrical activity of the brain and use participant’s neural function to control the sights, sounds and aromas in an immersive installation environment. Their brain function also triggers haptic (touch) and gustatory (taste) feedback. Their neural activity generates individualised sensory experiences in real-time. INTER-DREAM places the human body at the centre of a highly personalised restful encounter involving all five senses.
Sleep deprivation has been acknowledged as an increasingly prevalent global health concern, however, how to design for promoting rest and sleep is relatively under-explored. We propose that neurofeedback technology may facilitate restfulness and sleep onset, and we explore this through INTER-DREAM, a multi-sensory interactive experience driven by neurofeedback.
INTER-DREAM is the result of 2 years of research and development involving workshops, co-design sessions, university collaborations and international exhibitions.
This process involved over 65,000 members of the public across three countries. Extensive public engagement facilitated the design of a mesmerising brain-computer interface that captivates audiences with immediate, individualised multi-sensory feedback.
During the development phase, we collaborated with University researchers who specialise in neurofeedback and computer science. This process involved a scientific participant study
This independent, published study demonstrates how INTER-DREAM supports restfulness and sleep onset and the effectiveness of the design for the end-user.
Over 65,000 members of the public across three countries engaged with this project over its development.
INTER-DREAM has also generated high-levels of interest from international scientific communities, in recognition of the depth of research behind the design.
This project has also been featured in over 200 international media reports including in Engadget and Digital Trends who support audiences in the tens of millions.
The effectiveness of this installation and the global interest that this project generated has transformed the international reach of our business and created a measurable positive impact.
INTER-DREAM has also contributed new knowledge to scientific and design industries.
Most significantly, INTER-DREAM teaches people how they can successfully relax their mind in preparation for quality sleep. We invite participants to breathe slowly and deeply and to experiment with ways to relax their mind. The more they relax, the more calm the installation’s sensory stimuli becomes. INTER-DREAM provides the opportunity to explore, and see the success or otherwise, of personal relaxation techniques with the goal of improving mental wellbeing.
INTER-DREAM participants recline on an interactive resting platform. They wear EEG and VR headsets. The EEG headset reads the electrical activity that’s occurring inside their brain. Participants use their brain function to animate abstract visuals that are projected onto media surfaces in the installation space. A version of these projected visuals is also provided in VR so that participants can view the visuals whilst lying down, with minimal physical effort. Their neural function also triggers audio, aromatic, gustatory and haptic feedback. Our studies show that engaging with this system assists participants to prepare for better quality sleep.
When a participant relaxes, the audio and visuals automatically become more calm; when their brain is active, the audio and visuals are more dynamic. These changes occur immediately in real time. Participants explore different relaxation techniques and determine their success based on the installation’s sensory feedback.
People don’t need to purchase a product or service, following their installation experience they can use their tried and tested relaxation techniques in their daily lives in order to improve their quality of sleep.
Prior to the installation, participants select a distilled relaxing flavour and aroma. We supply them with this sensory stimuli during their installation experience.
When a participant’s neural function begins to shows signs that they are relaxing calm, the position of the resting platform moves to further support a calm state.