The Dream Factory in Your Head

Remee is a sleeping mask that uses light signals to help you take control over your dreams

Steve McGuigan and Duncan McCloud Frazier are the founders of Brooklyn based Bitbanger Labs. Both men are tech inclined but have built different skillsets and drawn diverse knowledge from prior job engagements before collaborating on Bitbanger Labs.

Mr Frazier has a background in film and photography whereas Mr McGuigan had studied computer science and worked in the technical areas of marketing. Their partnership, however, goes way back, to a small section of Suburbia outside Philadelphia where they both grew up. After making their way through school together and nurturing their friendship through the college years, both moved to Brooklyn around the same time. Four years ago now, in 2009, Mr McGuigan and his long time companion first started to play around with a couple of project ideas they could work on as a team.

“The eureka moment came during a group camping trip, sitting around a fire, when the subject of lucid dreaming came up for the first time since we met - turns out we'd both known about it and been practicing it for years, unbeknownst to the other”

At that time lucid dreaming (the sleeper is aware of being in a dream) was not a well known “activity” amongst the general population and most available lucid dreaming products were lacking proper design and carrying extremely heavy price tags. Mr McGuigan and Mr Frazier wanted to give lucid dreaming the reputation it deserved and started to work on a comfortable as well as an affordable alternative to what was already out there. The story of Remee began.

When asleep a person goes through stages of non-REM and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It is the latter that provides a window allowing the occurrence of (lucid) dreams.

“The concept behind Remee is simple, but relies on a tried and true method of increasing lucidity: dream signs.”

These signs are recurring things in different dreams, a tell, that once recognised, will help to get the dreamer lucid. What Remee does is to automate dream signs by delivering a customized dream signal of light patterns that the sleeper can design himself. Once aware of being in a dream basically anything is possible.

“Personally, I love to try and tap my creative side. There's something amazing about being able to access this unfiltered side of your brain - I love constructing little melodies and thinking up plot points to stories and things like that.”

It is scientifically proven that “real-world lights” can be seen in dreams and with some practice Remee can help using these scientific findings to lead us into a dream world that we (partly) control. It is also highly unlikely that the lights will affect non-REM stages and rob you off a good night’s sleep.

While some people at the beginning of Mr McGuigan’s and Mr Frazier’s project were puzzled or sceptical others felt intrigued but all of them were excited for what was to come.

“Our Kickstarter was, literally, an overnight success”

The project launched in the early afternoon of April 3rd last year and hit the funding goal during the night, only a couple of hours later. After going through a prototype evolution “The first was a massive affair, barely able to sleep with it.” Bitbanger Labs went into production and the sleek, smart dream machine was born.

For now the 2-man-show has been riding on a wave of success. They have shipped the Remee sleeping mask to more than 20 countries and are already busy working on a top-secret follow up project.

However, the path that led them here did have some rocks in the way. One that posed quite a challenge in the development of Remee was to rid the software of bugs. Being more comfortable than similar products, on the other hand came rather easy to the little dream helper. But Mr McGuigan and Mr Frazier are perfectly aware that every product can improve and that “there is no such thing as 100% comfort for 100% of people” which is why neither of them shies tweaking and tinkering at what already seems like a dream come true.

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