Sleeping on the job might bring up images of napping at your desk, but in many industries it is a major health and safety hazard — literally a case of life and death for the worker and for others. With the clear exception of Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot, sleeping on the job is not a funny or trivial problem. No one wants an airplane pilot or the driver of an 18-wheeler nodding off while working.
To counteract problems associated with fatigue on the job, a Brisbane, Australia, company has developed the SmartCap, which joins the legion of other smart devices that track us throughout our day. SmartCap is a baseball cap with a miniature processor that records brain activity using standard EEG technology. It analyzes the activity in real time, alerts the operator audibly and visually to signs of fatigue, rating the worker’s likelihood falling asleep. This information, but not the actual brainwave record, goes to a central monitor and can be stored on SmartCap Cloud. One person can monitor a whole fleet of drivers or other workers in real time.
In Australia, the SmartCap fatigue managing system is used widely in the mining industry, and is used in other industries around the world, such as trucking and airlines. And as the company’s website points out, it could also increase the safety of long family (or solo) trips.