Folks have been sending insightful comments and probing questions about N.O.W.—bring them on I say!
I’m going to re-purpose some answers I wrote to email correspondents and share them here (special thanks to Tom G).
Re: Speaker Placement – The two N.O.W. speakers (we sometimes call them “pods” or “N.O.W. pods”) are completely autonomous and have no software, electrical, WiFi or Bluetooth communication with each other. Intentionally.
N.O.W. stands for “New Origin Waveforms”. Each moment they are heard is a new beginning, a new origin, being created by a unique, totally random tone sequence—in that moment. I’ve intentionally designed a system that creates as much “coherent randomization” (more on this concept another time) as possible.
The user creates a different, random time gap between turn-on of speaker 1 and turn on of speaker 2 each time they use the system. This further ensures a totally “new now” experience, one that can only occur in that particular moment of usage.
Place N.O.W. Anywhere
There are benefits to placing the N.O.W. speakers differently, or by sitting in a different physical relationship to them, and the room boundaries, each time you listen (not required, just another way using N.O.W.) This will further randomize the slowly moving cross-hemispheric tones.
The pure sustained sine waves created by N.O.W. do not contain “localization cues” but they are experienced as a “hanging in the air / moving about” succession of standing waves. The initial attack or strike tones do have localization cues, but as the initial strike tones fade and the sustained tones linger, the user experiences a “moving tone” awareness. This is different, and unique for each listener. Because …
… each listener has a different physical orientation to the speaker pods. No two people hear the exact same experience because they’re in a different location. While the experience each person hears is similar, it is different. This is more than a metaphor for “diversity in Oneness”, IT IS an actual experience of unified diversity. A similar point …
… while the eyes tell us that N.O.W. is two separate speaker pods, the ears tell us it is ONE experience. This again, is a powerful meditation and corrective teaching—the perception of the eyes is prone to seeing the illusion of diversity manifested by the “10,000 forms”.
But the auditory channel reveals the ONENESS of experience and is able to strip away the illusion of what the eyes would have us believe. The result—a very palpable experience of ONENESS, a healing from the illusion of separation brought on by our propensity to give more weight to visual illusion (or dualistic textual messages) than to a wholistic, auditory experience of the world.
Lean in and Listen Up
As N.O.W. is a lean-in experience whereby folks are encouraged to bring their attention to the tone sequences and it is not “noise masking” experience, the N.O.W. speaker pods would have enough volume to be used in large-ish spaces, especially if they are reverberant like churches or empty hard-surfaced vestibules. The possibility of a special model for senior centers where hearing loss is more prevalent is certainly doable.
N.O.W. Compliments Existing Meditation Practices
N.O.W. can be used as centering practice prior to, and after a meditation session of any length. It can be used by experienced mediators as an introduction to their regular mediation practice. It can be used at the other end of a meditation practice to “re-enter the world”.
Can it be an app?
Yes. I’m working toward that. And a wearable. And site-specific, public space products. And a sleep aid. But mindfulness apps is a crowded field – HeadSpace, Calm, Sway, Simple Habit and 1000 others all doing pretty much the same “guided meditation / reminder” thing (Sway being an exception to this rule). N.O.W. easily stands out from this crowed playing field because it is different, and more effective, and quicker.
In addition, many people are looking for a stand-alone, easy to use physical product (no screens, no menus, no Bluetooth syncing) that gets their face out of their mobile phone’s screen and offers, as we say: “Noise Reduction for Your Mind”. So we’re doing a physical product first. Software app and wearable product soon to follow.