Your next wearable is going straight to your body’s command center.
Forget wrist-bound devices or clothes with fancy fibers – meet SmartCap Technologies, the product of a collaboration between mining operations and the Australian government. The SmartCap promises to provide “accurate and truly predictive information that enables the elimination of microsleeps, the number-one cause of driver accidents in the workplace.”
The smart headware line includes everything from smart hard hats to baseball caps to visors, and all claim to “remotely monitor electrical activity in the brain to determine levels of fatigue.” The technology behind the hats comes from Sierra Wireless, whose software translates data input into an alert should fatigue levels be deemed too high. It also sends this same data to a web application for closer monitoring and analysis.
The monitoring depends upon a removable sensor, which can be fitted to any type of headware. It then remotely monitors electrical activity in the brain by checking electroencephalograms (EEGs), whose data is then sent wirelessly to both an in-cap display and also to a centralized location via Wi-Fi for real-time monitoring and rapid analysis, the team behind the wearable says.
Ultimately, SmartCap Technologies believes its products “improve safety for mining crews, reduce accidents, and subsequent costs for mining companies.”
Thus far, SmartCap Technologies has been tested in the mining industry, boasting successful trials with customers in North and South America, Australia, and South Africa. But the next step is to move into new industries, like long-haul trucking companies. “One of our keys to success in mining and elsewhere has been to work closely with our customers on change management,” said Greg Smyth, Engineering Manager of SmartCap Technologies. “Deploying a SmartCap Technology system in a mine or a long-haul trucking operation involves balancing the needs of companies and workers, and addressing concerns all the way through the process.”