Whether your workforce is on the field or office-based, here are some nifty devices that will keep them alert and productive.
Scientists recommend people receive seven to eight hours of sleep every night to stay mentally fit, physically aware, and cognitively refreshed for the next day. But research shows that CEOs and other working professionals are only getting an average of six hours and 20 minutes of rest every night.
Unfortunately, sleep deficit disorders are growing around the world and generating disruptive sleep patterns in many individuals. This then translates into drowsiness, inability to pay attention, and impaired mental alertness it the workplace. In response, several companies have created devices that can be used to keep workers alert and facilitate a productive workday.
Vigo monitors to nudge employees awake
Originating as a school project for three college students, Vigo utilises the psychology of sleep and blinking patterns to quantify alertness and detect signs of drowsiness. Much like a Bluetooth headset, Vigo is worn on a person’s ear and sits across the face. It then uses infrared sensors to detect blinking rate and analyse head motions.
When these rates reach a drowsiness threshold, the device nudges the wearer and wakes them up. The wake-up call is gentle and involves light vibrations, flashing LED lights, or soft playing music – but it gets the job done. The wearer is awake and alert, and their productivity levels can increase.
Seeing machines eye-tracking technology
An Australian company called Seeing Machines has developed a technology that tracks eye movements to solve one of the biggest safety issues in mining and construction work. With long 12-hour shifts, drivers and miners can experience intense bouts of fatigue.
Seeing Machines has developed technology that is proven to reduce fatigue and distractions by 90 per cent. This device utilises an algorithm that tracks human eye and eyelid behaviour, checking for the frequency, duration, and velocity of blinking. The algorithm can be integrated into vehicles, and sends noise signals and vibrations through the seat to alert workers.
If triggered again, the device then notifies dispatches, controllers, or managers of the problem. Seeing Machines has also been used in the office environments. When employees seem drowsy, the computer emits a flashing screen that awakens the worker and notifies the boss.
Eye-movement tracking apps
Many applications provide a cheaper option for keeping employees awake. The concept behind these apps is similar to that of the industrial devices, but is easily accessible and can downloaded right onto a person’s phone.
An employee can simply download the app and mount their phone on their computer, steering wheel, or other office space. The apps then track their eyes and determine if they’re starting to nod off.
One app called Drive Awake can even locate the nearest café so that you can get a coffee and wake up if you doze off during work or on the road. Another known as Anti Sleep Driver, utilises the results of a French study to create the perfect environment for staying awake.
This study suggests that emitting a blue light can increase alertness and visual perception much like a cup of coffee. Therefore, the app flashes a blue light whenever it detects the closure of eyelids to keep its user to remain alert.
Lastly, there is an app for people that travel a lot for business meetings. Called MetroNap, this app doesn’t monitor eyes but rather the movement and speed of a train. When it senses that you have reached your stop, it will set off an alarm and wake you up so that you’ll never be late for a meeting again.