When you’re behind the wheel, one of the worst things that could happen is that you fall asleep. There have been a number of different products aimed at monitoring a drivers drowsiness levels and alerting the driver when they’re in danger of falling asleep or losing focus. The new Vigo wearable energy gauge works on that same principle, but aims to expand upon it so that it’s not just for drivers, but people performing everyday tasks like working as well.
The device looks very similar to a Bluetooth headset. In fact, it even connects to your devices via Bluetooth 4.0. But the way it functions is very different.
Essentially the device uses an infrared sensor combined with an accelerometer and algorithm to monitor your alertness levels. It does this by tracking things like body movement and the number of blinks that the wearer is doing.
Each time you blink, the device records a number of different parameters, including duration of the blink, eyelid closing time, and eyelid opening time. Once it detects that the wearer is sleepy or losing concentration, the device “nudges” the wearer to keep them awake. Users can set exactly how they want the device to nudge them, and options range from a small vibration to playing a particular song, to a subtle LED light being turned on.
The device itself is very light, coming in at only 20g. It uses an ARM Cortex 16 MHz processor and a Bluetooth 4.0 chip. On top of that, it includes the use of an infrared sensor and accelerometer, as mentioned above. It can also last between two and three days on a single charge, depending on used, the company says.
The device is compatible with both iOS and Android, as long as the device supports Bluetooth 4.0. You can make a pledge towards the company on the devices Kickstarter campaign, which at the time of writing had already $34,571 of their $50,000 goal after only 4 days. If the campaign ends up to be successful, the product should ship in May of this year.