When drowsiness sets in on the road, drivers typically open a window and turn up the radio. We've also seen a number of alert systems introduced over the years, including the EyeAlert Driver Fatigue Monitor, which tracks the eye-closure rate of drivers, and Audi has researched putting heart-rate monitors in car seats. The Impecca Alert Band takes a different approach. It monitors brain activity and warns drivers that they are becoming fatigued in advance of it becoming dangerous, giving users more time to do the one thing that helps: stop and take a break.
Like the InterAxon Muse and MeloMind devices that aid focus and relaxation respectively, the Alert Band is a wearable electroencephalography (EEG) headset. It monitors the electrical activity in a driver's brain for signs of fatigue and is reported capable of providing alerts 3-5 minutes before the wearer begins to doze off and fall asleep.
Impecca says that the band itself is lightweight and designed to be comfortable to wear for long periods. It features sensors that rest against the user's forehead and connects to an accompanying mobile app for Android and iOS via Bluetooth 4.0. It is also said to have a battery life of up to 20 hours.
The data collected by the headband is translated into a scale of 0-100 on the app, with 0 meaning that the driver is fully awake and anything above 80 meaning that the level of fatigue is considered dangerous for driving and that a break should be taken. The device can also provide real-time notifications and alarms to a driver’s smartphone, family and friends and social networks when monitored fatigue reaches a certain level.
The Alert Band is expected to be available from May of this year at a price of $249.99.