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Headset Helps You Stay Awake

Headset Helps You Stay Awake

A new device can recognize that you are too sleepy before you do.

Headset Helps You Stay Awake

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 19:30

Karin Heineman, ISTV Executive Producer

(Inside Science TV) – We've all been there…a long day of work or school, and you feel yourself dozing off at your desk…or worse…while driving.

Now, Jason Gui, co-founder of Vigo, a San Francisco-based company, has developed a device that senses when you're too tired – and wakes you up. Gui traces the idea for the device, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, to his days as a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

"What we quickly realized was that the problem wasn’t just limited to students," said Gui. "A lot of drivers also experience drowsiness."

The device, also named Vigo, is a Bluetooth headset that tracks a user's blinking patterns and head movements in real time.

"There [are] two types of sensors in Vigo [that are] able to pick up your signs of drowsiness," explained Gui.

An infrared sensor near your eye detects if they stay closed longer than a quick blink, while an accelerometer measures head movement. If the headset notices you nodding off, it sends an alert to stay awake.

"It can nudge you through a combination of flashing lights, through a vibration in your ear, or through sound or audio alert," said Gui.

A Vigo mobile app tracks patterns to determine when you're most active or fatigued, and recommends ways to stay awake.

Gui sees Vigo as "a step in the direction of reducing fatigue-related incidents."


Get Inside The Science:

Kickstarter Page on Vigo Device

Vigo Company Page

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Karin Heineman

Karin Heineman is the executive producer of Inside Science TV.