IONS Innovation Lab


IONS Innovation Lab

Technology for Self-Transcendence



Turning the World of Technology Inside Out

Intrigued by the "hackations" and "team productivity retreats" discussed in this PCMag article? Want to help your team integrate self-care and group-care into their daily obsession with project-care? Contact our research team to schedule a conversation. We can explore how you want your team to shift and what is possible through the power of H Hackations, and what we can create together.

The Innovation Lab

Moving into a world in which flourishing is the norm requires us to increase our participation in self-transcendence — experiences that allow us to connect with something beyond ourselves. The mission of the Innovation Lab at IONS is to create, guide, and advance Transcendence Technology, with the vision of supporting self-transcendence worldwide.

The Innovation Lab is one cornerstone of the Discovery Center Initiative at IONS. As an early-stage R&D nonprofit incubator, it will highlight cutting-edge consciousness research as it brings practical technology promoting the habit of self-transcendence into homes and workplaces around the world.

Working with leaders in the Consciousness Hacking movement, the IONS Innovation Lab is seeking strategic partners with an interest in developing technology for the public good. With the help of our world-class Advisory Council, the Innovation Lab leverages IONS' more than than 40 years of research on consciousness and interconnection to create a worldwide shift towards self-transcendence among the end-users of our products, as well as providing massive datasets that will deepen our understanding of wisdom, awareness, intention, and transformation.


The IONS Innovation Lab creates, guides, and advances Transcendence Technology via multiple means, but one of our most powerful methods is to create a Hackation (hackathon + vacation) that brings together technical people who are interested in consciousness transformation and self-transcendence into a safe and transformative space where work and shifting consciousness can coincide. It's a new model of conscious collaboration, and it works.

Our first Hackation, which was co-created with Consciousness Hacking, was a great success.

Transcendence Tech

"Designers producing Transcendence Tech are specifically aiming towards helping users move forward on a path towards transcendence, which includes moving beyond the self, connecting with others, and having an internal experience of truth. This internal experience of truth can seem very much like accessing faith, a sense of the sacred, or divinity. So in addition to the specific focus on a path towards transcendence, Transcendence Tech also differs from most of these other movements in that it offers a place for technology and the sacred to co-exist and inform one another."

From Designing Transcendence Technology, by Julia Mossbridge, Ph.D.

Transcendence Tech Resources

Transcendence Tech, a new field with roots in ancient mysticism, uses technology and design fundamentals to facilitate these three basic elements of transcendence: moving beyond the self, connecting with others, and sharing pro-social goals and ideas. For more information about Transcendence Tech, see below, as well as this book chapter.

This page features organizations related to Transcendence Tech as well as some good examples of Transcendence Technology. We have organized the examples of Transcendence Technology according to the step that we believe the technology addresses on the research-based model of self-transcendence (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Schematic of a research-based model of the path to full transcendence or living deeply (model adapted from Schlitz, Vieten, & Amorok, 2008 and Vieten, 2009). Boxes represent steps on the path. Items above the boxes represent actions or experiences facilitating transitions between steps. Items below the boxes represent pitfalls that de-rail the progress of the path.

Table 1. Organizations involved in well-being technology, related to the Transcendence Tech space.

Buddhist Geekssupporting mindfulness and meditationacademic, corporate, entrepreneurial, and
Calm Technologypromoting simple, clear, unobtrustive designacademic, corporate,
Calming Technologyinducing cognitive, affective, and physiological calmacademic,
Consciousness Hackingexploration of consciousness and well-beingacademic, entrepreneurial, and
Essential Self Technologysupporting embodiment, autonomic resilience, emotional self-regulationacademic, corporate, entrepreneurial, and
Positive Computingfacilitating meaning, compassion, self-actualization, altruisimacademic and
Positive Technologyimproving physical and psychological well-beingacademic and
Transcendence Technologywayfinding on the path to transcendenceacademic, corporate, entrepreneurial and
Transformative Technologyimproving physical and psychological well-being and productivityacademic, corporate, entrepreneurial, and
UX for Goodsolving discrete social problemscorporate, entrepreneurial and
Wisdom 2.0improving mindfulness and wisdomcorporate, entrepreneurial, academic, and venture

Table 2. Examples of Transcendence Tech that can seed noetic experience; note that this is not an exhaustive list. The question-mark symbol (?) marks technologies that use electricity or magnetism to stimulate the body or brain in ways that have not yet been fully tested for safety in clinical trials.

techwhat is it?what is it like?website
Biotronesiswomb-like art object entered by a group of usersexperience a mild group psychedelic experience without requiring drugs; flashing lights, pulsing music and warm, cozy environment
Chakra Meditation with Symbolsmobile app designed to use symbols and music to deepen meditationsample 7 different sound tracks that are designed to resonate with the frequencies of the 7 energy centers, and view reiki symbols that correspond appropriately
Choice Compasssmartphone app that taps into heart activity patterns related to intuitionlearn about body wisdom and intuition while you meditate on life
Shakti ?headgear that creates a dynamic magnetic fieldstimulate your brain and perhaps produce improved meditation and intuition, a sense of the
Neurodreamer lucid dreaming masksleep mask that plays music to help you sleep and offers cues during dreaminglisten to music with embedded binaural beats and phase-modulated sounds that entrain your brain to sleep; lights remind you when you are asleep so you can play in your
Psiformsart form that illustrated the link between mind and matterconcentrate on an intention during your scheduled time of “entanglement” with a random-number generator and receive a work of art that correlates with your
Spatial-Angle Modulationbrain entrainment method using sounds that can keep creativity on tracklisten to a peaceful soundscape that is correlated with focused, intuitive insight; offers advantages over simpler nature
Soundselfart form/game that transforms the human voice into a melodic chantsing into your computer’s microphone and listen to sounds that change with your voice, producing a sense of

Table 3. Examples of Transcendence Tech that allows users to sample potentially safe and sustainable practices that produce noetic experience consistently; note that this is not an exhaustive list. The question-mark symbol (?) marks technologies that use electricity or magnetism to stimulate the body or brain in ways that have not yet been fully tested for safety in clinical trials.

techwhat is it?what is it like?website
BodySoundmagnetic field and sound pulsation through a reclined chairexperience being vibrated by the magnetic field at the base of the seat while music vibrates the rest of the chair; relaxing, rejuvenating,
Sunlightmeditation habit-creation app with optional EEG neurofeedbackwatch soothing, earthy graphics show an animated plant growing as you meditate; if you meditate for 21 days, your habit is set and your plant is
Buddhifymeditation app with guidance and mood-trackingpick an activity from a colorful wheel; listen to guided meditations for everything from walking around doing errands to working on the internet; also asks for quick mood state ratings so you can see how meditation changes your
Emindfulweb-based mindfulness workout clubpay a membership to get community, classes, games, and apps designed to support
Emwaveheart-tracking biofeedback device and desktop software supporting well-beingput on the ear clip to sense heartbeat, use graphs or games to learn how to get your heart activity in the range of optimal heart-rate
Headspaceapp-based  mindfulness personal trainingenjoy friendly and clear graphics and instructions with great voice; subscription gets you community and meditations for specific

Table 4. Examples of Transcendence Tech that can help users integrate practice into daily life; note that this is not an exhaustive list.

techwhat is it?what is it like?website
Buddha Pongsmartphone app for two-way mindfulnessafter finding a partner in the waiting room, be connected over the phone to your partner for a brief single-word pong-like
Heart-felt apparelbiofeedback apparelshow everyone your ongoing heart beat; increases connection and
HeartSyncart that reflects and guides the physiology of the groupwatch engaging visuals timed to bring you and a group of users into greater coherence using heartbeat
Spiresensor that coaches you on deep breathingsnap the sensor on your waistline and used throughout the day; experience de-stressing and flow via feedback about your

Table 5. Examples of Transcendence Tech that can support users who have made the transition from focusing on “I” to “we” and are searching for ways to positively impact the world; note that this is not an exhaustive list.

techwhat is it?what is it like?website
Charity Milesapp makes anyone a sponsored athlete, for charitydownload the app, choose a charity; the app tracks your walking/running/biking miles through the pace-tracker and then corporate sponsors give per-mile donations to your
Caremobapp that allows people around the world to sit in empathy, protest, or mourning with one anotherchoose an idea or cause, put your finger on the fingerpad, and see others around the world who are caring with
Do As Oneapp and website help people around the world breathe togetherenter a breathing room, meditation room, or a color breathing room with guided meditations; if others are in the room, your breathing is synchronized with
Experimentweb-based crowd-funding tool focused on scientific experimentssearch for an experiment in a field of interest, read lab notes from the experimenters, and fund one or more
Feedieapp allows you to enjoy eating out at nice restaurants while also helping feed the hungrytake a picture of your fancy meal at a participating restaurant, send it to friends, and the restaurant will donate a meal to the Lunchbox Fund for hungry children in South
GiveGabsmartphone app supporting non-profit agenciesfind a non-profit that suits your passion, look for volunteer opportunities or donate, get rewards and share with
Heart-Mind Onlineweb-based scientifically vetted resources for helping children learn emotional and social intelligenceaccess articles written by experts on child education and psychology and can get ideas for activities to help kids practice
Impossibleweb-based gift-economy community connecting people who need goods and services and those who can provide themusers sign up and provide a profile of their skills, then receive emails from others who can use their skills; win thanks for giving your
One Todaywebsite and app making it easy to give a dollar a day to vetted charitieschoose your causes, get prompts and notifications of matching grants; the app consolidates your gifts and you pay all together whenever you’re
Pay it Forwardfoundation and app facilitating passing good works on to othersstart a pay it forward chain in honor of your birthday or special event; save lives or simply put a smile on someone’s face; reminds you to share good fortune; NOTE: some charitable donations are toward religious
Peacemakergame in which you try to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict“play the news” as events unfold in the region, discover how you as the Palestinian or Israeli leader would respond; learn compromise and perspective

Table 6. Examples of Transcendence Tech that can support users in connecting and sharing themselves when in state of full transcendence or living deeply; note that this is not an exhaustive list.

techwhat is it?what is it like?website
DreamsCloudwebsite and app supporting sharing dreams and insightsshare your dream by typing it or dictating it; choose keywords matching your dream by pictures;
InsightSharewebsite providing participatory video services and an app to record experiences and insights from people around the worldlearn to record compelling video in your community to get an idea out into the world; gives a voice to your
Machine to Be Anothervirtual reality performance piece facilitating connection with otherswear a VR headset that shows them images from a performer’s point of view; working in agreement with the performer, users explore the performers’ experience and begin to feel as if they are the
Presencingwebsite offering online tools, courses, and community related to the foundations of leadership and communitylearn the basics of profound leadership through online courses, use hubs to connect with others interested in shifting the way communities work in your
StoryCorpsapp and physical story booths recording stories and insights from people around the worldmake an appointment online for a story booth or use the app to answer specific questions like “what is the most important lesson in your life?”

Schlitz, M. M., Vieten, C., & Amorok, T. (2008). Living deeply: the art & science of transformation in everyday life. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Vieten, C. (2009). A research-based model of consciousness transformation. Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, 23, 32-34.


The Innovation Lab at IONS is working with OpenCog and HansonRobotics to create LOVing INtelligent General AIs or LOVING AIs — open-source artificial general intelligences that behave as if they have unconditional love for themselves and others. If you'd like to join this effort, please read a bit more about the LOVING AIs project.


"Edgar Mitchell entrusted his life to technology, and technology repaid him by enabling a life-altering epiphany as he viewed Earth from space. The IONS Innovation Lab continues the exploration of the beneficial role technology can play in shifting planetary consciousness." 
 ~ Claudia Welss, Innovation Lab Advisory Council

IONS Innovation Lab Advisory Council Members, 12/3/15

Tim Chang is a Managing Director at Mayfield Fund, focusing on venture capital invests in Mobile, Gaming, Digital Media, eCommerce/Marketplaces and Health/Wellness. He has been twice named on the Midas List of top 100 VCs. Tim led Mayfield's investments in Basis (acquired by Intel), MOAT, 3Drobotics, Massdrop, HealthTap, Fitmob (acquired by Classpass), and Lantern. Tim was previously a Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, where he led NVP's investment in Playdom (acquired by Disney for up to $763M), ngmoco (acquired by DeNA for up to $403M), AdChina (acquired by Alibaba), PCH International, Lumosity, Badgeville, Basis, and Brite Semiconductor, as well as working with the boards of TrueX (acquired by Fox), deCarta and Borqs. Prior to joining Norwest, Tim was a Principal at Gabriel Venture Partners, where he established and led their wireless practice, investing and joining the board of Iridigm Display (acquired by Qualcomm for $200M). He was also actively involved with the boards of Placeware (acquired by Microsoft for $200M), IPWireless (acquired by NextWave) and NextG Networks (acquired by private equity syndicate). Before entering the venture capital industry, Tim was a Product Manager at Gateway, where he launched Enterprise products into the Japanese market, and began his career as a tri-lingual development engineer for General Motors, working across China, Korea, and Japan.

Charlie Hartwell is the Operating Partner for the Bridge Builders Collaborative, a group of investors committed to investing in companies in the mind-training space. Passionate about innovation, change, authentic leadership, and transformation, Charlie has worked in leadership positions in 14 industries. A Harvard Business School graduate, Charlie's career has included Wall Street, corporate marketing stints at HJ Heinz and Pillsbury, start-ups, turnarounds, small business, and non-profits - in leadership roles such as President, Chairman, board member, founder, consultant, coach, and trustee. Along with his wife, he's co-founded the ShiftIt Institute, with a mission to help raise collective consciousness.

Joe Hudson is the Founder and Managing Director of One Earth Capital. He has over 20 years of corporate experience in helping build companies in personal development, sustainable agriculture and financial services. Joe has worked closely with a diverse array of organizations, ranging from Barclays Global Investors, Wells Fargo Bank, The Bureau of Reclamation, to smaller entrepreneurial companies across six continents. He spearheaded the first Venture Capital company to focus on Sustainable Agriculture and was the largest investor in the first Sustainable Agriculture IPO on Nasdaq. He has served on The Board of Directors of both public and private companies and has helped many of these companies realize exponential growth. Joe has committed himself to a life of self-exploration and inner reflection across multiple platforms — neurological, psychological and spiritual. For the past 15 years, Joe has also been deeply involved in philanthropy. His projects have spanned from improving education in inner cities, to encouraging mindfulness. He has also been part of the restoration of several riparian habitats in the South West United States. Alongside his role as Venture Capitalist, Joe is the Managing Director of the DBJ Foundation.

Michael Jones is a long-time entrepreneur and former CEO of Myspace, Mike Jones now serves as the CEO of Science, Inc., a Los Angeles-based technology studio that nurtures successful digital businesses by bringing together the best ideas, talent, resources and financing through a centralized platform. As a serial internet entrepreneur, Jones has founded, advised, invested in and sold numerous businesses, including application platform Userplane, which he led from startup to its acquisition by AOL, Tsavo Media, PeopleMedia, Brizzly and Myspace. He is actively involved with early-stage startups as an advisor, board member and investor. Among others, Jones has personally invested and advised more than 30 startup businesses including Klout, Maker Studios, Scopely and PocketChange and sits on numerous boards including DogVacay and DollarShaveClub.

Joël Kalmanowicz has a passion for improving the world through technology and innovation. His long term goals are to modernize education and development systems to support humanity's growth. He is currently a product manager for Google's voice recognition, search, and action platform, known as “OK Google.” With a diverse range of interests across disciplines, he particularly enjoys combining divergent technologies to create new ideas, and designing new products to be intuitive and encourage mindfulness.

Monica Pal is an engineer, entrepreneur and strategist with 20-plus years experience in enterprise software and technology marketing. Combining a deep understanding of technology with a keen ability to read the market, Monica takes startups from concept to leadership positions in their segments. She is currently COO of Stratio, creator of the Stratio Instant Intelligence Platform, an open source, pure Spark, real-time big data analytics stack with a “code-free, click-thru” approach that accelerates the development of customer, cyber and industrial intelligence solutions. Most recently, Monica was co-President & CMO of Aerospike, growing the company into becoming the most popular NoSQL database for real-time bidding. Prior to Aerospike, Monica held VP Marketing roles at Alien Vault, the leading open source security platform, WSO2, the open source middleware company, iFan Media (now iCitizen) civic engagement platform and was co-founder at LignUp, a voice-over-IP platform company. At enCommerce, a Web security startup, she led product marketing from its early days to a successful acquisition by Entrust. Monica started her career as an engineer inApple Computer's pioneering Collaboration Products R&D team wherethe first unified messaging and secure email systems were developed. Monica has an M.S in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and B.A in Computer Science from Rice University.

Michael Potts is managing partner of Advance Wave Partners, an investment partnership supporting teams and innovations that strengthen authentic bonds between buyers and sellers. Previously, Michael was CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy "think-and-do-tank" dedicated to speed our shift to a new energy economy, and American Fundware, maker of financial software for non-profit organizations.

Mikey Siegel is an MIT-trained robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He envisions a present and future where technology supports psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being, where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us to ourselves and each other, acting as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening. He is currently founder of BioFluent Technologies and Consciousness Hacking. He received his MS from the MIT Media Lab.

Robb Smith is a leading social entrepreneur in human transformation, focusing on significantly improving human life by supporting people to become more aware, skillful, loving and happy. He is the founder and CEO of Chrysallis, the world's first free smartphone platform for adult transformation, which offers hundreds of practices across more than 50 topics based on the evidence base from more than 100 scientific disciplines. Chrysallis partners with leading healthcare enterprises to support large-scale population health, wellness, productivity and happiness across the U.S. He is CEO and also co-founder, with American philosopher Ken Wilber, of Integral Life, a digital hub supporting the global trend towards meta-integrative human capacities. Prior to that Robb was a co-founder and partner in Nevada Ventures, the state's first venture capital fund, where he dedicated himself to building Nevada's innovation economy. He was a director of Alere, a three-time Inc. 500 awardee, which became the largest population health management company in the United States (NYSE: ALR). He was Nevada’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year and former president of Entrepreneur's Organization Reno-Tahoe. He started the Nevada Ventures Nanoscience Program at the University of Nevada and spun-out Nevada Nanotechnology Systems, Inc., whose detection of explosive, chemical and biological substances was chosen by Scientific American as the best defense-related technology of 2004. In 2012 Robb was nominated for the TED Prize. He is a descendant of Martin Luther and lives in Reno with his wife and three young children, whom they home school.

Claudia Welss pursues projects at the nexus of consciousness, technology, human-earth energetics, and large-scale social change. She is cofounder and Chair of the Invest in Yourself program atNexus Global Youth Summit and Network, a program dedicated to increasing personal and social coherence among a global movement of 2000+ young change agents working for systemic transformation, including social impact investors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists from hundreds of the world’s most influential families. She’s a founding steering committee member of the Global Coherence Initiative and a licensed and certified HeartMath facilitator, a Gaiafield Project Council member, on the board of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and, as part of her passion for increasing coherence across domains, is a founding partner of an R&D company partnering with the University of Colorado using a globally patented laser system to generate a new type of coherent wave form for supporting biological and chemical systems. Claudia’s been part of IONS since 1995 when president-emeritus Willis Harman invited her to join the 5-year "Peacebuilding Through Business" inquiry at Fetzer Institute while she was director of the University of California, Berkeley Center for Executive Development, building strategic learning programs and pioneering sustainability curriculum for global business. She is currently on the IONS board of directors, and has been on the external research faculty since 2004. She's a subtle activist, social innovator, philanthropist, investor, phenomonologist, coherence junkie and biocybernaut (using cybernetic technology to explore inner space!), and nature lover.


PsiQ is an app for the iPhone that allows IONS researchers to screen people for some types of psychic abilities. It is not yet available for Android phones. If you are having problems with the app, please contact the IONS research team.