That’s not wordplay. This thing REALLY shocks you.
STEER, a wearable armband designed by Creative Mode now on Kickstarter, aims to save countless lives by waking drowsy drivers on the road. The bracelet isn’t meant to shock drivers into submission, but rather monitor their vitals and deliver a gentle reminder that sleeping should be done in bed, not while barreling down the highway wrapped in a metal box.
According to some pretty convincing stats, a whopping 25% of vehicle accidents are caused by drivers getting unsolicited shut eye. This isn’t due to their car being comfier than a La-Z-Boy on a rainy day. Nope, they’re just tired. Whether at night or in morning traffic, driving tired can be just as bad as driving drunk.
This is what STEER wants to address. With this rather large armband design with what looks like a fancy box of breath mints attached to it, STEER monitors your normal heart rate and skin conductance with 16 different sensors–they type used in polygraph test machines–to make sure you aren’t sleeping on the most important job of all: staying alive.
You start off by taking a minute to let STEER adjust to your normal body conditions. Green means go. Then the bracelet monitors your vitals continuously every two seconds to make sure you haven’t died yet.
Steer switches to a yellow light and delivers a strong vibration whenever your heart rate drops by 10 units. But if your body registers it as nothing more than a massage and drops your heart rate down by another 3 units, you’ll get a nice, little electric shock to go with a blinding red light. Apart from mild skin irritation and a possible paranoia of being electrocuted, STEER doesn’t harm your body any more than coffee, smoking, ear-deafening music or having a passenger jab your neck with a cattle prodder.
The design isn’t going to win any fashion awards, but its single purpose to keep you alive doesn’t require much in the way of aesthetics. However, they considered certain aspects to make it more effective. Along with the wide array of sensors, STEER is made from hypoallergenic plastic, so it doesn’t cause any weird rash with your daily shock therapy. It has a charge time of one hour and can be used for two weeks before the next charge via the included Micro USB charging cable.
STEER broke their $5,800 goal, nearly tripling it with a week left to go. One device runs €99 ($115 USD) with a twin pack running €198 ($230 USD) with an expected deliver in November 2017. To learn more, head on over to the Kickstarter page.