U-Wake headband monitors you for driving fatigue and alerts others when you need to wake up
Although it ranks behind texting while driving and driving while intoxicated, driving while fatigued is an expensive and deadly habit. In the United States alone, it’s responsible for an estimated 71,000 injuries, 1,550 deaths and $1.25 billion dollars of damage each year.
One of the most challenging aspects of the fatigued driving problem is that judgment is one of the first things to go when you’re tired – most fatigued drivers don’t realize they are impaired.
U-Wake is a crowdfunded biomonitor wearable that aims to combat the dangers of driving while fatigued. The headband monitor syncs with your smartphone and tracks brainwaves to detect when you are too tired to drive. When your EEG readings reach a certain critical point, it sets off an alarm on your phone that stimulates your attention and tells you to take a break. It can also be set to send an alarm to selected family and friends, who can then contact you and encourage or help with making the safest decision.
In development, the U-Wake team performed hundreds of experiments testing coordination and fatigue while subjects drove on a simulator. The current incarnation of the biomonitor device detects drowsy and fatigued drivers with an accuracy of over 90 percent.
Great intentions aside, the U-Wake has a ways to go to reach its $200,000 goal, as of December 21st. With ample days remaining in the campaign, it still has a realistic chance of succeeding as more people discover it before it ends on February 1st, 2015. Successful funding puts the estimated delivery date for their first batch of monitors at early May, 2015.