STEER Wearable Will Keep Awake While Behind the Wheel

It is estimated that drowsy driving caused 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. Looking at the numbers, it is safe to say that driving drowsy is as dangerous as driving under influence, if not more dangerous. While large automakers like Jaguar Land Rover who have the financial muscle to flex is working to make cars that could ensure a driver stays 100 percent alert all the time, a Latvia-based company is quietly developing an immediate solution to counter this potentially fatal issue. It kind of makes sense cos’ this wake-the-driver-up technology won’t be available to all cars anytime soon and even if it becomes available, drivers of older cars will not enjoy the benefit. This means that drowsy driving-related accidents will continue to happen.

STEER Wearable Will Keep Awake While Behind the Wheel

That said, third-party solution like STEER, as it is called, seems like the obvious answer. STEER is a wearable that is designed to be worn on the driver’s arm. While being worn, it continuously monitors the driver’s heart rate and skin conductance to determine if the driver is drifting into la la land. If a lower heart rate and skin conductance, which are usually a sign of fatigue, are detected, STEER will send a wake up signal via strong vibration to wake up the driver. However if the drowsy condition persists, i.e. the heart rate and skin conductance continues to lower, STEER will take drastic measures by unleashing a gentle electric shock to jolt out the driver out of the drowsy situation.

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STEER Wearable Will Keep Awake While Behind the Wheel

However, we are not sure how strong is the electric shock, but an electric shock is an electric shock nonetheless and if something that feels like needle piercing your skin won’t work, we don’t know what will. According to its creator, the electric shock will increase the level of serotonin, noradrenaline, and cortisol, while chemical that responsible for the sleepiness, melatonin, will be suppressed. The company even go to length to say that STEER is way more effective than downing 2-3 cups of coffee or energy drinks. But, really. How well it works remain to be seen.

The company has taken to Kickstarter to peddle its invention and from the look of it, it is not lacking of supporters. To date, it has garnered nearly 160 backers who helped to raise over €18,000 (nearly US$21k) to make the product a reality. If all goes as planned, backers should be receiving STEER sometime in November 2017. If you want one, you can still pre-order it on Kickstarter by pledging €109 (about US$127) or more. But do not procrastinate for too long cos’ the campaign will end in 5 days. You can learn more about STEER in the pitch video below,

Images courtesy of Creative Mode.