Sounding Off: INCEPTION, the iPhone app

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
December 21st, 2010

I was one of the many people who willingly (and repeatedly) allowed themselves to get sucked into the magnetic and (still) confusing dream world of INCEPTION. The ability to lose oneself in this world was aided by the amazing visuals of the film, the performances, and the music. Now anyone with an iPhone (well – almost anyone) can drop right back into this dream world at the drop of a hat (or totem).

The INCEPTION application for the iPhone allows you to unlock different dreams depending on what you are doing at the time. If you are walking to run an errand, the Action Dream would commence. If you are just sitting around, the Still Dream would start up. The dreams even pick up on the weather launching into the Sunshine Dream if you happen to have your phone out during a sunny day. These dreams all combine Hans Zimmer’s score for the film with the sounds and actions going on around you by interpreting them into the dream. Pretty cool, right? It is.

The only catch is for us old school iPhone 3G holders is that the application runs best on the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. iPhone 3G owners (like myself) are able to run the Overture Dream, which works whether you are walking or sitting, and uses different bits of score than the options for iPhone 3GS and 4 users. The catch here is us 3Gers only have one dream option rather than the multiple options of the 3GS and 4 users. But the application is free and did quickly issue this Overture option when it turned out the application did not run well on the iPhone 3G version.

I had the application playing while I was doing some last minute Christmas shopping and it definitely brought an otherwise boring errand run to a different, intense level. The second I would walk into a store playing music, the application picked up on it and started working it into the dream I was listening to. If I walked by people talking, it grabbed that too and certain words would vibrate over the music. Even getting my keys out to unlock my car were interpreted to sound almost like bells and a car going by on the rain-soaked street turned into the infamous train from the film. Try simply having a conversation (or even better – start laughing or singing) with someone and listen to it manipulate your voices for a real trip.

As we all get ready to travel this holiday season, I definitely recommend downloading this application to your phone and having it play while you wait for your planes, trains, or automobiles. It really does suck you into the dream world of INCEPTION and makes the sometimes-annoying ambient sounds around you sound interesting and cool. If you need further proof – I walked by a screaming child while listening and the application turned it into a part of the music. An application that erases screaming children – and it’s FREE!

Admittedly, the full version is definitely the better and more extensive application to get, but even the single version that was reworked for the iPhone 3G was enough to make a last minute trip to the mall bearable. For the full version, you must unlock the different dreams by engaging the application as you are doing different things. Once unlocked, you can return to those dreams. What is even cooler is the application will take a Google map shot of wherever you are when you unlock that dream and it becomes a part of the puzzle making up your entire dreamscape.

Download it, play with it, dream with it, and report back on what dreams you were able to unlock and what sounds you ended up hearing. I would be interested in taking it for an actual run as I have heard the further the distance you travel the most intense and complex the Action Dream will become.

The INCEPTION iPhone app is available in the Apple App Store.

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  • Mark Gibbons

    Speaking as someone who is clearly awesome and far superior because I have the 3GS version, I can say it made my trip to Trader Joe’s pretty trippy the other day.

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  • NWalters

    I’m also running it on the iPhone 3GS, and it really is quite an experience. Like you say it turns a regular everyday journey into a mindbendingly awesome experience. And there are some rather strange dreams to unlock, such “The Full Moon Dream” and “The Africa Dream” which you have to be in Africa to unlock! I dont think I’ll be unlocking that one anytime soon. But for anyone who has the opportunity to, you really should download this, it really like nothing you’ll have experience before.

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