Wearable computing devices are still very much in their infancy, with some of the most well-known examples of the technology including smartwatches like the Galaxy Gear and Android-powered headsets like Google Glass. Of course as the wearable computing market continues to expand, we will likely see many other types of unique solutions including authentication tattoos, smart contact lenses and the list goes on.
With that in mind, the Vigo team has taken to Kickstarter in order to gain the funds it needs to create its own unique wearable device, a special Bluetooth headset that works as a personal energy “energy gauge”. The idea behind the Vigo alertness tracker is that there are times when you start to become weak and tired, even before you mentally notice your fatigue. The Vigo tracks your blinks and body movements in order to determine how alert you are in real-time.
For those of us that have ever started nodding off to sleep while driving, it’s easy to imagine how such a device could potentially be a life-saver.
In order to gauge your energy level, the Bluetooth headset uses an infrared sensor, a six-axis accelerometer and a custom tracking algorithm. There’s also a 16MHz ARM Cortex processor inside and a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that is said to last roughly 2 – 3 days between charges.
So what does the Vigo do with the information it tracks? For one thing, it can alert you that your energy levels are low or that you are dozing off.
Using the accompanying Android app you can customize exactly how you are alerted, whether its through a gentle vibration, the playing of a song or the illumination of its built in LED notification light. Aside from warning you when your energy is low, the app can even give you recommendations of things you can do to get your energy levels up again.
Most of these things are common-sense activities like stretching, taking a nap or getting a cup of coffee — but I suppose these tips could come in handy for some. The app can also help you evaluate when your levels are consistently the lowest so that way you can change up your routine if necessary.
Outside of its energy monitoring, the Vigo also works as a standard Bluetooth headset for making calls and works with nearly all Bluetooth 4.0 compatible devices.
How much will Vigo cost, and is it worth the money?
Right now the Vigo headset is available to early bird backers for just $59, though its eventual retail price will be $119. This is a lot to pay for a bluetooth headset, but it could be worth the money if you travel alot.
For those of us that have ever started nodding off to sleep while driving, it’s easy to imagine how such a device could potentially be a life-saver. If the Vigo works as the team claims, the headset would instantly notice when you are starting to drift off and could play a loud tune to snap you out of it.
The Vigo team also bills the device as being useful for other situations like meetings and boring lectures, though the device sticks out enough that most folks probably wouldn’t want to wear it out in public too often due to the attention it might draw.
What do you think, could you see the Vigo proving useful or do you feel it’s just another gimmicky wearable device? For more details, be sure to head to Vigo’s Kickstarter page.