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Vigo Bluetooth device nudges you awake, saves you from dozing off

Leah Yamshon | Jan. 24, 2014
"When do we get drowsy when we don't want to be?" asks Jason Gui, co-founder and CTO of startup company Vigo. Well, I can think of tons of times where I may have accidentally nodded off a bit when I shouldn't have, which resulted in missing important information or subjecting myself to embarrassment (sorry, strangers sitting next to me on MUNI).

"We can't build something for everyone right at launch, as there is no easy one-size fits all' model," said Gui, "but we did our best to make something as universal as possible, and we will definitely work on expandability." The team has also opened the app's API, so developers can add functionality and perhaps integrate Vigo with other apps.

In the meantime, Vigo has its own app, which wearers use to control Vigo's alert settings and track information. Vigo can nudge you in one of three ways: It will flash a light, vibrate, or play a song from your smartphone's library. You can pick the type of alert you want to get, and can customize the intensity based on your movements. For example, you can program a gentle buzz if your eyelids start to droop, and a blast of music if your head starts to nod.

Aside from the control settings, Vigo's app gathers info about your blinks and tells you which points of the day you tend to be the least alert. It then recommends ways for you to combat drowsiness before it even happens, like when to take a power nap, grab a cup of coffee, or go for a quick walk around the block. The idea is to use Vigo's data and take advantage of the points in your day when you are most alert.

"Vigo stands for vigor," Gui told TechHive, "we want it to invigorate you and help get you back in the zone."

Vigo is available for pre-order through Kickstarter now, and is tentatively scheduled to ship to backers in May. It will be compatible with iOS and Android devices.


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