Research + Tech

Smart head wear technology monitors workers' fatigue

A new fatigue-monitoring device designed by SmartCap Technologies can alert a user when he or she is becoming tired. Life Band by SmartCap Technologies is a wearable band that fits inside users' head gear—including hard hats and ball caps—and connects to a smartphone app. Instead of in-cab cameras that alert vehicle drivers and operators when physiological symptoms are observed, Life Band uses electroencephalography, or brain waves, to monitor a user's fatigue.

"We're not talking about detecting microsleeps, we're in the business of eliminating them," says Dush Wimal, SmartCap Technologies' CEO, in a 2016 interview. "Physiological signs are a lagging indicator. We can intervene early and stop you from having a microsleep altogether."

Life Band can be used with many types of head gear. Rather than being embedded in a machine, the band is located on a worker no matter where he or she goes. The sensor-equipped band determines a user's alertness levels and transmits real-time voice-and-vibration alerts to the user via SmartCap Technologies' Life App, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.