Steer Wearable keeps drowsy motorists awake and alert by shocking them


Drowsy driving causes accidents, although drivers are advised not to drive if they feel sleepy or tired, sometimes this happens not before they start driving but during the course of a journey which still isn’t a situation anyone wants to be in. As the saying goes, you cant really cheat nature.

To reduce this, Latvian design studio Creative Mode invented Steer, a wearable device that helps drivers not fall asleep behind the wheel. How this is done? Well, Steer detects the level of your drowsiness by analyzing heart rate and skin conductance and warns you when your condition is close to sleeping.

The bracelet is worn on the upper forearm, it analyzes heart rate and skin conductance. If at anytime either drops below a certain level, Steer shocks you back into consciousness.

Besides warning you about the fact that you are drowsy, Steer actually wakes you up, so you are safe to continue the journey.

Most individuals suffer from sleep deprivation from time to time, the Steer bracelet is intended for those categories of people and also, since this can happen to anyone, everyone can use the bracelet.

Users can strap on Steer to verify resting heart rate and skin conductance, after which they can wear it while driving to determine harmful changes. If for instance, the wearer pulse decreases by ten units, Steer shines a yellow light and sends out a strong vibration. When there’s another drop in three units, the user will receive a “gentle” electric shock.

According to Creative Mode, the stimulation boosts neurotransmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, and cortisol, and decreases the “sleeping hormone” melatonin. According to the creators, “These changes will make you feel fresher and less drowsy and will return your heart rate to normal”. They also ensured users that the device has “no negative effect on your health.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 83,000 drowsy driving-related crashes occurred between 2005 and 2009. This is a better, safer and more reliable option than quick fixes such as energy drinks, coffee or even loud music.

Steer can be pre-ordered now for an early-bird price of $116, you can get extra for friends or family with the twin pack sold at $231, trio pack $349, or four-device family pack $444. Production is expected in September and October and rollout expected November.

Sleep-deprived driving (commonly known as tired drivingdrowsy driving, or fatigued driving) is the operation of a motor vehicle while being cognitively impaired by a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents, and it can impair the human brain as much as alcohol can. According to a 1998 survey, 23% of adults have fallen asleep while driving. 

In the United States, 250,000 drivers fall asleep at the wheel every day, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and in a national poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 54% of adult drivers said they had driven while drowsy during the past year with 28% saying they had actually fallen asleep while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually in the USA.

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