Tech Trend: Can Apps Emulate Psychedelics?

Lumenate is the brainchild of U.K. inventor team, Tom Galea and Jay Conlon. The pair made an exit from the corporate world in August 2018 with a goal in mind to find a way to enable people to live more fulfilling lives.

Credit: Free Game Guide

Lumenate is an app which simulates a psychedelic experience without the need for illegal substances. By manipulating light and sound, the new app helps to guide users into a psychedelic or semi-psychedelic state. The Lumenate app launched in March, aiming to help users to “effortlessly explore your subconscious”. And it claims to encourage a swing between deep meditative and psychedelic states.

The Process

The initial steps are easy to follow. The app instructs you to get cosy, turn the phone flashlight on and close your eyes.

Credit: Vice

The phone then begins a stroboscopic light sequence. The app states that it allows users to drift into a “calming and immersive journey through a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of colours created by your subconscious”. This happens via an altered state of consciousness with users guided through the experience.

Subconscious Exploration

According to Forbes,

“Jurisdictions across the United States are seemingly in a race to decriminalize or legalize psilocybin mushrooms and other entheogenic plants and fungi, while hardly a month goes by without news of another company developing psychedelic compounds as medications or consumer products in order to profit from the coming friendlier regulatory environment.”

Source: Forbes.

The team created Lumenate in October 2019. Brain scans optimised their methods of altered awareness states using both light and sound.

“The company tested the app on 30 participants who reported the following psychedelic-like effects:

  • Highly colored vivid closed-eye fractals
  • Occasional pronounced sense of movement
  • Reduction in sense of self
  • Reduction in body awareness
  • Reduction in sense of time”

Source: Psychedelic Spotlight

A Shared Vision

Galea and Conlon shared a vision which began in the outdoors via a series of public group-lighting experiences. Forbes reports that Lumenate’s original business plan has relied on a prototype light and sound system at such events. But, after the pair’s first event, Covid hit. And restrictions subsequently forced the cancellation of any upcoming public lighting events which the pair had planned. During ensuing months of isolation, Galea and Conlon collaborated on Lumenate. Conlon said,

“We quickly realized that with mental health at the forefront of everyone’s minds, what we were developing could now be more relevant and genuinely helpful than ever before.”

Source: Forbes

As a result, Lumenate officially launched in March 2021. This came after two years of research into the ways in which light sequences impact your brain and ongoing development. The goal is to assist in reaching a greater level of self-awareness. Additionally, the app aims to unlock states of consciousness which may have been previously inaccessible to the user. Since it’s launch, the app has been downloaded over 5000 times.

Rosamund Pike’s Immersive Journey

Credit: The Australian

Additionally, Golden Globe winning actor Rosamund Pike is the creative director of Lumenate. Pike states on Lumenate’s website that,

“What the Lumenate App offers as a gateway into pure consciousness is incredibly exciting. The stroboscopic light is a revelatory way to explore the subconscious workings of one’s mind. What I experience using the app is a combination of meditation and deep inner awareness. The tool is both innovative and groundbreaking. I cannot wait for the world to experience it.”

However, unlike Lumenate’s competitors Headspace and Calm, Lumenate is,

“Less about dreamy, soothing audio guides and more about getting “wild” in a dark room, Pike suggests. Or, as Forbes recently put it, it’s the app for anyone who wants to have “a psychedelic trip without taking any drugs”.

Source: The Australian

Lumenate is available for free download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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