Innovation That Matters

This headset tells workers when it's time to take a break

Sport & Fitness

Vigo is a wearable sensor that detects drowsiness and offers real-time data on wearers' alertness, boosting their productivity.

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We often don’t fully listen to our bodies when tiredness hits, especially if there’s a deadline or we lose track of time. However, sleepiness can affect performance, causing mistakes in the case of work and — more harmfully — accidents when driving. Now seeking funding on Kickstarter, Vigo is a wearable sensor that detects drowsiness and offers real-time data on wearers’ alertness, boosting their productivity.

The device looks much like a typical Bluetooth handsfree headset, except it features an infrared motion sensor and accelerometer that track when users blink and when they move about, key factors in determining alertness. Vigo is able to track up to 20 data points contained in each blink to intuit the wearer’s mental energy in real time. The information is pushed via Bluetooth to the companion app, which users can customize to receive notifications depending on their activity. During moments when attention lapses, the device can vibrate, flash a discreet LED or start playing a user-selected, high-energy track to boost alertness. Users can also track their performance over time to see when their concentration is at its peak, and Vigo even offers smart recommendations based on their energy levels — such as taking a walk, making a coffee, having a nap or doing some exercise. Just as it looks like a Bluetooth set, Vigo can also be used to take calls handsfree. The video below offers more information about the device:

Backers can still support Vigo until 1 February, with the kit priced at a reduced USD 79 — it’s expected to retail at USD 119 in the future. The device could help improve the productivity of both white and blue-collar workers who put in long hours on the job, but similarly to the Drive Awake campaign by Thailand’s Café Amazon — which used facial recognition to track drivers’ eyes while at the wheel — could also stop wearers from making bad judgments when they’re not fully mentally alert. Are there other ways that tech can give users real-time information about their bodies that are beyond their perception?




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