17. September 2013–
Shadow – a startup aiming to help users tap into the benefits of dream analysis – has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to finish developing an app for remembering and recording your dreams. The company also reportedly has plans to open a "sleep lab" in Berlin.
Founded in 2013, Shadow has already picked up two angel investors in Berlin and is led by New York-based Hunter Lee Soik, a former creative consultant for Kanye West and Jay-Z. One look at the company's beautiful website and you won't be surprised to learn that Soik is a three-time entrepreneur who has designed brand experiences for fashion label Stella McCartney and event Art Basel. But is this concept more solid than just good design?
Delving into the dream world
"When I worked in fashion, my crazy schedule meant I almost never slept enough and didn’t dream – or at least remember the dreams I was having," said Soik in a statement on how the idea of Shadow came about.
"When I took a hiatus, I started sleeping more and having awesome dreams that I wanted to remember. I looked through the app store, but there was nothing out there that recorded dream content in the way I imagined."
Many of the Shadow app's promised features – including typing out notes quickly and analysing trends that emerge from dream activity – are similar to that of San Francisco-based Dreamboard, a well-designed dream journaling app already available on mobile and the web.
One point where Shadow differs: an alarm clock feature designed to help you better remember your dreams "by taking you through your hypnopompic state (the transition from asleep to awake) much slower than a standard alarm clock".
"We'll amass the world's largest dream database"
As made clear by the name "Shadow" – a psychological concept that can refer to either a person's entire unconscious mind or the dark side of our personality – Soik and his team found inspiration from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed analysing dreams could help us better understand the workings of our inner world.
Dreams can act as indicators of what's going on in our unconscious minds and are highly personal – so Shadow's "inherently social" app might make some users apprehensive. From the company statement: "At every step in the process, you choose who you share your dream content with. Keep dreams to yourself or push them to the cloud, where your personal data is stripped and the content helps provide dream context to users all over the world. We think people will see the value of a universal database to contextualise dreams..."
Not everyone will see value in sharing the keywords and themes from their dreams even if it's anonymous. But it's an interesting attempt to tap into Jung's idea of the collective unconscious (the part of the unconscious mind that has the potential to respond to particular images and themes that are common to humankind, and is inherited).
With interesting features and a stunning campaign video with a moving voiceover from philosopher Alan Watts, we'll be watching to see if the Shadow team strikes a chord with potential users – and where they will take the app next.
Featured – Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video