We have smart glasses, smart watches, smart necklaces, but what about a smart hat? The SmartCap is just that, a baseball cap with smart capabilities and the ability to tell you when you’re tired. While that might not sound like an overly ‘smart’ thing to do as you can probably tell, the cap would have a lot of use in industries like transportation where drivers and pilots often have to stay up for long hours in order to reach their destination. An alert when they are getting too tired to drive would allow them to pull over or hand the controls over to a co-pilot to get some much needed rest without putting themselves, other drivers, or passengers in danger. While there are other uses, none of them are quite so practical.
What is the SmartCap
The SmartCap is just that, hat available in two form factors (baseball cap and hard hat) that looks and feels no different then a standard cap that might be issues to workers or drivers in a number of different issues. While the examples are red, they could probably be ordered in any of a number of colors based on personal preference. Each SmartCap is paired with a central hub that charges the technology. Each cap comes with a chip that charges on the central hub, and then plugs in under the brim to power the cap. Because it’s less invasive than camera or responsive technology, the designers, suggest that it’s accepted more easily than other monitoring technologies. The SmartCap then uses Bluetooth to send alerts for constant fatigue updates and alarms when the wearers fatigue reaches critical levels. The alerts can be sent to a monitor or a phone, allowing both the wearer and the employer to get alerts.
How Does it Work
The SmartCap works using a variation of EEG technology which monitors the electrical impulses that run over the brain. By analyzing these impulses, the cap is able to detect when the wearer is tired. The particular EEG system can monitor electrical impulses through the hair, allowing it to be less invasive and not require skin preparation. Because the sensors are hidden in the band of the hat, the cap automatically works when on the head, so long as the power chip is in place.
Unfortunately, there is no making anyone wear a cap, even if it is company policy, so while having fatigue alerts can definitely help a lot, it’s not a foolproof way to keep people from working while tired.
If you want to order a SmartCap then you’re out of luck for now unless you happen to be a large scale commercial buyer in Australia. The cap was originally developed for the CRC mining company in Australia and is now only on the market for very large commercial orders in the country. SmartCap claims to have a number of orders already, so the technology could soon become a mainstream thing.