Vigo is a new push in the wearable health technology front which aims to track the user’s energy and alertness levels throughout the day, and to intervene to wake the user when it detects drowsiness. The headset device measures patterns in blinking and head movements using an infrared sensor and accelerometer, and processes these patterns with an algorithm to determine energy levels. When it senses drowsiness, it can nudge and wake the wearer with an arsenal of user-selected alarms, vibrations, LED notifications, and/or pump-up songs. It can also make recommendations, such as to take a break and stretch or drink a cup coffee. The Vigo records and tracks the user’s mental energy levels over time on an iOS or Android smartphone, and alert/drowsy patterns can inform the wearer of their most/least productive times of day. The device is currently being touted for use to keep users awake during long drives or boring meetings and lectures, and may gain expanded functionality, like winking-based gestures, as the company plans on releasing the SDK (software development kit) to the public.
The Vigo is equipped with an ARM Cortex-M0 16MHz processor, low-energy Bluetooth 4.0, infrared sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, vibration motor, and is reported to last 2-3 days on a single charge. The Vigo team, made of University of Pennsylvania graduates, has currently launched the project on Kickstarter, and the Vigo can be backed for $79 (retail $119). Expected shipping date is May 2014.