A few weeks ago, a Theme Park University reader gave me a heads up about a new experience going viral on the web called the Dream Collection Agency.
After doing several hours of research, I couldn’t make heads or tails of what the heck this is. Here is what I do know…
The Dream Collection Agency is a start-up company that is trying something entirely different using Oculus Rift virtual reality technology. For those unfamiliar, Oculus Rift will be a virtual reality headset available to consumers in 2016. The potential for this is game designers, movie producers and software developers have a new way to deliver immersive content to consumers.
In the case of the Dream Collection Agency, the virtual reality system will be used as a way to visually reconstruct real dreams. Here’s how it works. Say you’ve just woken up from a dream that is still vivid in your mind. You’ll pick up the phone and call 267-53-AWAKE (seriously, call the number after reading this) and leave as much description as possible about your dream.
A Dream Collection Agency representative will then listen to your dream description and take notes. They will then take that and create a virtual reality presentation that you can experience in person at a Dream Collection Center. The first of which, they are hoping, opens in Atlanta for a limited run in the Fall of 2015.
Equally fascinated and skeptical, I reached out to the Dream Collection Agency team for an interview. After speaking to Kevin Byrd, their head of marketing for over half an hour over the phone, I am still just as confused and skeptical. The DCA won an arts grant in the spring of 2015 to further their project and make their experiment a reality. Keep in mind, this is an arts grant and not a science grant. Meaning it’s more entertainment than it is research… or is it?
“Don’t be too quick to discount the science behind this,” says Byrd, “we are collecting the dream information and analyzing the data. Imagine if we got five people who all had similar dreams of having an earthquake in San Francisco on the same day. The next day after they wake up, if an earthquake really happens. No one has tracked this kind of data before. What if we start tapping into the subconscious and we really learn something?”
While the Dream Collection Agency may be on to something here, I can’t help but think this is all a cleverly designed ad campaign for something beyond the virtual reality. Immersive theater, perhaps? It’s really hard to tell and Kevin Byrd flat out told me they are remaining mysterious and ambiguous at this point in the game so people become intrigued. Check out their promotional video below. It almost feels like a parody of a real scientific experiment. Real or fake, it’s extremely well executed. Bizarre, retro, well designed and even a dash of creepy.
Even more bizarre, at this point, they don’t have a business model. They are planning on starting this company by offering their services for free. I am fascinated to see where this is going. Meanwhile, check out their website, watch the video and call that number (267)53-AWAKE. What do you think? Is this real or bunk?
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Images Copyright: Dream Collection Agency, Theme Park University