Currently there are many products available in market or are in developing relating to sleep, fatigue, and health management. In this document, we review four products relating to our project that can help determine the scope of the issue, quantify the current solutions, and ideate potential features. We analyze the Zeo Sleep Manager Pro, the Spark Watch, Vigo, and U-Wake. These wearables address a range of fields from sleep tracking to fatigue management while driving.
ZEO SLEEP MANAGER PRO
The Zeo Sleep Manager Pro is a sleep tracking wearable device that records an impressive amount of sleep related data. It function as an electroencephalogram (EEG) which detects electrical activity in your brain using tiny metal discs attached to your scalp. The Zeo tracks information such as your sleep phase to how long it takes you to drop off to slumber after going into bed. It is a great device that has the potential to help develop better sleeping habits.
The product is placed on the users head prior to going to bed at night. A corresponding mobile application is used to monitor and function as the general user interface for the device. Therefore, the Zeo must be paired to a phone or tablet. The Zeo itself functions on a single charge per night and thus needs to be charged daily. The Zeo application tracks the user through four phases of sleep: Wake, REM, Light, and Deep and places the information in a simple bar graph for analysis. The user is given a ZQ score, an index of the duration of sleep, the balance of different sleep stages, and sleep disruption throughout the night. With this information, users will be able to make adjustments to their sleep schedule in order to improve overall sleeping conditions.
This device is moderately intrusive as it must be worn all night; however, when the user is asleep. As an electroencephalogram, the headband device features three forehead sensors, a Softwave sensors which attaches to the headband, and a separate mobile device for analysis. All these devices may require excessive usability strain as the user must interact with various modules to get the Zeo to function. Additionally, as a headband, the device may not stay on or in place throughout the night which may disrupt the functionality of the Zeo. The Zeo is currently out of the market, but was a very popular sleep manager when it was available at $99 directly via the company’s website. The Zeo’s primary user population was available to the general public with a focus on people who had irregular sleeping habits or those who wanted to track their sleeping patterns.
The Spark watch functions as a wrist watch that monitors your movement patterns throughout your day and detects when users begin to doze off. Once it detects the users beginning to fall asleep, the device gently vibrates (which is adjustable) to wake the user.
The device functions as the user’s everyday watch which runs on a battery that lasts 5–7 days on a single charge. Therefore, the device remains on constantly and continuously monitors the user’s movement. Spark operates with two buttons and features two different states. The first state is it’s native on mode where it monitors your movement and detects when the user dozes off. However, users are given the option to turn on “Time mode” which allows the user to sleep uninterrupted as it turns off the motor sensors.
Equipped with a small vibration motor capable of adjustable frequencies and intensities, the device can be adjusted to suit the user’s desired sleep needs. It includes two sensors, one to detect movement velocity and the other to detect movement frequency. A unique algorithm utilizes this information to estimate the user’s conscious state.
The Spark watch’s primary was inspired for students who needed to stay awake, however, their target audience broadened as the need to stay awake was applicable to various occupations. They mention that one out of every five Americans have trouble staying awake during an average workday. Their overall goal was to help users overcome fatigue and drowsiness so that users can be as efficient and focused as possible.
Vigo is a wearable device that is paired with a phone application that helps people stay alert at all times. The wearable device is the main product and it is “the first wearable device to quantify alertness” according to Vigo’s Kickstarter page. The wearable device tracks the users eye blinking pattern and body movement to quantify alertness. Once it detects that the users alertness level is going down, then it will nudge the user via vibration, an LED light, or a song depending on the user.
The device is worn as an earpiece and looks similar to a bluetooth piece that is much longer, the length is so that the end piece of the device is near the eye of the user. This allows the infrared sensors to track the blinking patterns. The device also has an accelerometer that measures the body movements. This device tracks the users alertness in real time and can be seen quantified in the application. The application also allows users to set customized settings such as how the user should be nudged to stay awake and alert.
On top of keeping users alert, the application also gives smart recommendations for users based on their data. These recommendations are activities that will help keep users alert such as napping, drinking coffee, and exercising. An extra feature is that Vigo can also be used as a bluetooth headset.
The primary motivation for this device were from personal experiences that the creators went through during their college days. Whether it was being in a boring lecture, studying all night, or working long hours. They felt that there needs to be more reliable ways to stay alert and when they found out that the best way to stay alert was having someone else watch you, which is not realistic in application, they thought that they could make the closest thing which was Vigo.
U-Wake is a wearable device that tracks fatigue levels and send alarms to family/friends to keep users awake. The device which is worn on the forehead,measures the users brainwaves, particularly a specific region of the brain that is in charge of fatigue. Once it detects that your fatigue level is low enough that you might be in danger, it alerts your family/friends so that they can call you to keep you awake or check on you.
The device is connected to a bluetooth connection so that the brainwave data is synced up with the application. The application allows users to see their fatigue level in real time and is also in charge of contacting other people when fatigue levels are high.
This device is mainly used when the user is driving, it isn’t meant to be used at any other settings, driving fatigued is very dangerous andU-Wake tries to address that by allowing users to see their fatigue while driving and also gives some solutions such as having family or friends call the user when they are fatigued.
The motivation to this product came about when a friend of the founder was driving one day when he was hit by a car and was severely injured. The driver who hit him was falling asleep behind the wheel. This is what led to creating this device that is meant to prevent drivers to fall asleep while they are driving.