The ability to be at our most alert is fundamental for optimised performance during busy day to day activities. Students may need to stay alert in lectures, business people may need to understand when they are most awake to maximise meetings, police officers may need to remain alert during a stake out (I’ve watch too many movies) and grandparents need to be at their most vigilant when looking after mischievous younger generations.
Everyone has experienced times of doziness right when they don’t need it in the same way that sometimes we may feel wired when it isn’t necessary. The ability to maximise alertness not only provides opportunity for improved performance and efficiency but also for improving safety, for example reducing traffic collisions.
Vigo is a technology currently under development which analyses how alert you are and informs you that you’re dozing off before you even realise. The ear worn technology can vibrate, light up or even play your favourite song in order to wake you up. However Vigo isn’t just a consistent nag, it can also inform you when a rest may be required whilst collating all of your data to inform you over time when your periods of most efficiency are, allowing you to plan your day to fit to increase productivity. Through user input the technology will also identify how certain activities correlate to alertness.
So how does it work? Infrared sensors, accelerometers and some clever algorithms analyse bodily functions such as activity and blink frequency to analyse your state of alertness. Using this data users will be informed when they need to wake up as well as the time they can continue to work before it’s best to take a break. The use of colour coded feedback systems provide users with intuitive representations of data and recommendations can be given by the application to complete certain activities to maximise alertness, such as stretching, squatting, walking, napping or even having a coffee.
Via Bluetooth connection Vigo users will also have the ability to link up with mobiles to make and receive phone calls as well as other interesting functionalities.
Heck you could even use it to stay awake during the more tedious of my blogs….
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)