Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SmartCap Reads Brain Waves to Monitor Workers' Fatigue Levels

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the wearing-the-tired-hat dept.

Technology 58

Zothecula writes "You don't need to be an expert in occupational safety to know that worker fatigue is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents — this particularly applies to people who operate heavy machinery or drive for a living. While it would be great if all employees simply took a break when fatigue started setting in, it can sometimes be difficult for people to tell just how tired they really are. That, or they decide that they just want to push through and get the job done, drowsiness be damned. An invention from Australia's EdanSafe, however, takes the guesswork out of the picture. It's called the SmartCap, and it measures employee fatigue in real time by monitoring its wearer's brain waves."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

App (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 years ago | (#38877923)

Does it include a smartphone app?

Great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38877925)

Now we can enforce policies which say that workers can't stop until they are completely worn out.

Re:Great! (3, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38878025)

Joking aside, I actually wonder if this would be used to rate employees (based on who can work the longest with least fatigue). Is that something a person can even control/improve?

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38882615)

I wonder if this will be tied with genetics somehow, and in the future, people would be refused manufacturing jobs if their parents rated lower than 1-2 SDs of average on the "job fatigue" scale.

I'm betting this will be a score tied to people, just like credit scores and "hirability scores".

Re:Great! (3, Insightful)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | about 2 years ago | (#38878035)

Now we can enforce policies which say that workers can't stop until they are completely worn out.

I was thinking it would just vary your pay based on how worn out you are. Stayed up late last night, running on empty today? You're earning about half your salary today then.

coming soon to foxconn work till you drop (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38878147)

coming soon to foxconn work till you drop and then we will auto pump you with drugs to keep you up.

Re:Great! (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#38878729)

Conversely if I arrive bright and alert but go home feeling half dead I want compensation for damage to my health and hard labour.

Re:Great! (1)

dslauson (914147) | about 2 years ago | (#38878155)

Right. It seems like a really bad idea to set the precedent that it's totally OK for employers to ask employees to submit to brain scanning. Sure, they can't get much from it now besides a metric for your fatigue, but as the technology starts getting better...

Re:Great! (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 2 years ago | (#38879919)

Well once they have your base line readings anything like a drink at lunch or perhaps a little "contact high" from a co-worker that uses pot should be immediately apparent... best bet is be wasted when they take the base line measurements... you know, just to be "safe"...

Re:Great! (1)

alreaud (2529304) | about 2 years ago | (#38883159)

The day they start brain scanning prospective employees in America, that's the day I drop out of the modern world and go live in the back-country. It's bad enough now you almost have to have a Facebook account and pee in the bottle first. Screw that, at some point enough is enough, go pack sand Herr Employer, and while you're doing that build your own fucking widget, :P

Re:Great! (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#38878537)

Now we can enforce policies which say that workers can't stop until they are completely worn out.

It's being tested in godless socialist Australia, not in U.S. So, not yet.

Re:Great! (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 2 years ago | (#38879685)

...most employees are *already* worn out before the day is over.

Solution to wrong problem (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38877935)

The problem has never been knowing whether a worker is tired or the degree. Workers are well aware of how tired they are. The problem is jobs that pretty much require them to keep working anyway.

Re:Solution to wrong problem (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 2 years ago | (#38878273)

That's oversimplifying the problem. Train drivers have to push an "awekeness button" periodically for a reason. Now we have an additional tool for that.

Re:Solution to wrong problem (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#38879627)

How long have they not been running with the throttle rigged as a "dead man switch"??

Re:Solution to wrong problem (1)

Jimmy_B (129296) | about 2 years ago | (#38879365)

The problem has never been knowing whether a worker is tired or the degree. Workers are well aware of how tired they are. The problem is jobs that pretty much require them to keep working anyway.

Workers may know that they're tired, but they can't easily prove it, and they can hide it if they don't want to lose pay. If someone goes to their boss and says they're too tired to work safely, they're likely to be ignored, and told to keep working. But if there's an impartially generated number that says they're too tired to work safely, that can't be ignored - because if a supervisor ignored that, and there was an accident, it would be easy to prove they were at fault.

Re:Solution to wrong problem (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38879423)

True.

However if a worker made a habit out of this, they'd probably conveniently get laid off the next time the company “right sizes”, and replaced with a less complainant worker.

Re:Solution to wrong problem (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38879449)

Ok, my brain isn't working... replace "complainant" with something more apprioriate!

Re:Solution to wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38887063)

How long have they not been running with the throttle rigged as a "dead man switch"??

Jerry Jarvis (Fred 'REAL PEOPLE' Willard): If there's no one in the engine, then who's driving the train?

A toolbox. [imdb.com]

You know when you're fatigued (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 2 years ago | (#38877953)

When I begin to hallucinate I usually like to take a break.

Re:You know when you're fatigued (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#38877969)

But what if you don't know its a hallucination? By God, man, what if those flying pink ponies are real!?

Re:You know when you're fatigued (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 2 years ago | (#38878229)

Because Pinkie Pie is an earth pony, not a pegasus.

Re:You know when you're fatigued (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38878005)

I find I get to a point where I have what I refer to as mini dreams. I wouldn't really call it hallucinations. More like a drift off for a second, see something weird (usually centered around the room I'm in), then wake up without realizing I had fallen asleep.

That's my personal "ok, time for bed now" indicator.

Re:You know when you're fatigued (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 2 years ago | (#38878111)

That's called hypnagogic imagery :)

Re:You know when you're fatigued (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38878195)

Hmm, interesting. Based on some quick browsing, that seems to describe it exactly. Thanks! :)

AIR JORDAN 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38888845)

20 ans, seulement une longue histoire dans l'instant. Est aussi un
Un casting de la AIR JORDAN Michael et sa famille de sneakers jordan [nbajordanstore.com] Guagua tombent sur le sol et le déplacement voyage à la classique immortel.
AD 1985, de l'Université de Caroline du Nord membres des Chicago Bulls où MJ a été le mouvement des matières signé à NIKE de pointe, avec
NIKE sur son lancement dans l'histoire de la révolution, mais aussi le plus controversé que la première signature de chaussures - AIR
JORDAN1. Couleurs accrocheuses avec des chaussures a été le plus avancé sur cheap air jordan [nbajordanstore.com] coussin d'air de la technologie, cette chaussure bien l'arène de la NBA
Raison parce que la couleur est interdite à l'usure, mais le marché a réalisé un chiffre impressionnant de l'autre peuple dont pencher la balance. Depuis lors, un transport
Les chaussures de sport dans l'histoire du mythe a commencé son voyage extraordinaire.
    AIR JORDAN série de publicitésJordan Enfant [nbajordanstore.com] dans les brumeuses introduit ses 20 premières générations, peut, après tout, au nom de regret pour AIR JORDAN19
Cette paire de Air Jordan 20 une autre génération de si mystérieux?
Après la génération de 1985 AIR JORDAN1 20 ans depuis l'avènement de l'année, Air Jordan série a traversé 20 années
Le printemps et l'automne. Michael lui-même avec 20 années d'aff?tage, les réalisations uns après les autres exploits pics infranchissables. Mais cette 20
Dans le cadre de laquelle ils ont inhabituelle moments mémorables basket jordan pas cher [nbajordanstore.com] et la signification de cela? Je crois et ensuite pas vu AIR JORDAN20 nom du

    Comme toutes choses, comme la loi de développement, ainsi que le lieu de basket-ball en dehors de Sa Majesté le hauts et des bas, comme la plupart de ses plus proches coller
Corps des partenaires, Air Jordan série de la même connu les hauts et les bas. Avec plusieurs reprises de Michael à la retraite, AIR
La Jordanie a aussi ses bas. Mais son ma?tre brillance avec .Jordan spizike [nbajordanstore.com] un autre de leurs chaussures signature d'autres joueurs avec le jamais
Préparation de la marque d'honneur. En 1994, MJ se retira la première fois, afin de commémorer l'histoire du basket-ball que les plus attractives
Star, la 10ème génération de sa signature, au nom de la semelle des chaussures AIR JORDAN10 sculpté sur l'étoile à 10 ans de carrière dans le jeu
Toutes les récompenses individuelles. également en 1999, 2e Michael Majesté à la retraite, air jordan basket [nbajordanstore.com] AIR JORDAN15 nom de la chaussure sont laissées sur le corps
Sous sa forme la plus convaincante six championnats d'enregistrement fabuleux. Ce 2 chaussures AIR JORDAN série a également été ?l'honneur
Chaussures ", le surnom. En un éclair, pour cheap air jordan pas cher [nbajordanstore.com] la? robe de Dieu, "le dieu de couleurs de basket-ball une fois encore en 2003, est un adieu permanente
Il nostalgie nostalgie aussi de son stade. Il peut être marqué, en plus de sa carrière de basket-ball professionnel, début et fin de l'année AIR JORDAN18.5
Mais ce n'est pas une paire de vraies feuilles que son résumé de Air Jordan 6 [nbajordanstore.com] carrière brillante de la chaussures Air Jordan apparaissent. Aussi les deux autres paires avant
"Honor moitié résumer chaussures" a été un solitaire, Peter.

Re:You know when you're fatigued (2)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 2 years ago | (#38878915)

Once in Pre-Ranger, we were in the field for 7 days and got around 2 hours of sleep TOTAL. Everyone was falling asleep, standing, walking, it didn't matter. Lay in the prone for a minute and you would have a dream that you were in the prone with a rifle, pulling security.... like your brain had to trick you to thinking you were awake just so it could get some rest.

Anyway, I was laying there pulling security in the patrol base while the PL planned the next mission and me and this white rabbit were talking about what we were going to eat when the school was over. We talked about sleeping for a few days and ordering pizza, etc, it went on for a while.

My battle buddy nudged me to tell me i had fallen asleep, and I actually tried to argue that I had been awake the whole time. "I wasn't sleeping, I was just talking to the.... nevermind."

Re:You know when you're fatigued (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 2 years ago | (#38880685)

When I begin to hallucinate I usually like to take a break.

Quit slacking off. As long as you're alert enough to dodge the snails that the elephant is throwing at you, you're alert enough to keep that truck moving.

Next up: Mandatory real-time blood sampling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38877959)

To make sure your blood sugar levels are high enough and to screen for illegal substances. From there it's just a small step to the mandatory in-cube catheterizing...

Quality of data collection and analysis? (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 2 years ago | (#38877985)

Can any experts out there who work with sensors and EEG comment on 1. the efficacy of a cap mounted EEG sensor array (are there issues with making sure sensors are correctly in contact with the skin rather than hair, etc.)? 2. Challenges around correct automatic analysis of received data? What kind of accuracy is required from this kind of set up to be able to conclude successfully how fatigued an operator is? What is the permissible level of error with readings (do you need to be super-accurate or is this kind of rig very error-tolerant?)

Interested to hear whether this is likely to be a very reliable piece of equipment or something prone to error and annoying to use and will therefore be sabotaged as quickly as possible by the operators ("Gee Bob, I'd be happy to wear it but the danged thing just doesn't seem to go since I accidently dropped it in a puddle last week").

Culling of the weak? (1)

Ferzerp (83619) | about 2 years ago | (#38877989)

You know this will be used to fire people whose brain waves suggest that they tire (even slightly) faster than others, and replace them with more efficient humans...

Something tells me the use of such a device will be blocked (especially in unionized industries).

Re:Culling of the weak? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 2 years ago | (#38878947)

Lol... Unionized.

You'd actually have to do some goddamned work first.

"We've noticed you've been tired a lot at work.. (4, Insightful)

n5vb (587569) | about 2 years ago | (#38878011)

.. so we've decided to let you go because we're afraid you might have an accident and sue us or make the company look bad .."

Trust me, the minute these things are hooked up to statistical reporting systems, they'll be used to benefit the company and not the workers.

Re:"We've noticed you've been tired a lot at work. (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#38878467)

They'll find some way to wake you up with a small electrical shock, or Sonic Sound. They'll start using this technology overseas to keep workers working to maximum capacity. I think they had something like this in the movie THX1138.

Re:"We've noticed you've been tired a lot at work. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#38878753)

Fortunately they are already illegal in the EU.

On the positive side I can see them being useful for evaluating things like pilot fatigue and developing ways to limit it on long flights.

Overworked Software Engineer (2)

confused one (671304) | about 2 years ago | (#38878059)

working 70 hour work weeks... How will they distinguish tired from normal

Wonderful (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#38878073)

Another brilliant invention from Australia, the nation with the highest alcohol related brain shrinkage in the World.

So people that read higher on average for fatigue get canned, people that stay sharp longer keep their jobs and the flood gates for all sorts of "brain monitoring" opening, soon there will be a job focus measurement, you get distracted to easily!!! You're fired!!!

Alternatively... (2)

ZiggieTheGreat (934388) | about 2 years ago | (#38878079)

<quote><p>While it would be great if all employees simply took a break when fatigue started setting in, it can sometimes be difficult for people to tell just how tired they really are.</p></quote>

It would be great if my employer allowed a break when fatigue sets in, rather than making me wait until my mandated break time.

If this becomes common, expect the slave mines to get even worse.

Where can I buy one of these things? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#38878131)

I will have to provide for it in my budget for my team. I am going to order one for each member of my team. Will instrument it to add a trigger in clear-case preventing check-ins when their fatigue level is high.

Note to self: Also order coffee machines integrated with intravenous delivery control modules to inject more caffeine when the fatigue level goes above threshold into these bitching and moaning, belly aching malingerers, when their caffeine systems have too much blood in them.

Second note to self: Scout for small islands near Bahamas to buy with the bonus that will surely come due to the increased productivity of my team.

Re:Where can I buy one of these things? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38878385)

trigger in clear-case

Man, I physically, in real life _grimaced_ reading that!

Sincere condolences.. hang in there man.. and always remember that just because your corner of this world may be dark, there is always still happiness elsewhere.

Re:Where can I buy one of these things? (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#38880515)

Note to self: Also order coffee machines integrated with intravenous delivery control modules to inject more caffeine when the fatigue level goes above threshold into these bitching and moaning, belly aching malingerers, when their caffeine systems have too much blood in them.

Or cut out caffeine to your team altogether, be more productive: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/02/22/coffee/ [youarenotsosmart.com]

Re:Where can I buy one of these things? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#38880735)

Or cut out caffeine to your team altogether, be more productive: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/02/22/coffee/ [youarenotsosmart.com]

Oooops! Did I say productive? Me, bad. I meant to be punitive. ;-)

Talk about paranoia! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38878301)

They didn't even use the tag "paranoia" in fear of being ousted as someone who saw through this obvious attempt at brainwash.

Bunch of... of... paranoid cowards...

Posted as anonymous because I, erm, forgot my password...

3001. (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | about 2 years ago | (#38878337)

This was done in 3001, everyone had to wear a cap to monitor brainwaves. And in the BBC series The Tripods. This is not a new idea. Arthur C Clarke was a visionary.

Re:3001. (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | about 2 years ago | (#38879005)

And in the BBC series The Tripods.

I was wondering whether anyone would mention John Christopher's trilogy+prequel [wikipedia.org] .

Move the lever from "read" to "write"... (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#38878425)

...and the headgear quits sensing how tired you are, and TELLS YOU how tired you are.

I'm meaning to be facetious with this, but I suspect that at some level this really is possible. Just like medications can keep you awake and improve your alertness, I'm strongly suspect that some form of electrostimulation could do the same, probably with fewer ill side-effects. As has been said about the "brain pills", how far from "neat trick" to "mandatory to keep your job in a competitive market"?

Do Republicans really dislike birth control for religious reasons, or is the dislike really so that there will be a surplus labor market, leading to lower pay?

Irony (1)

mwlp (2019424) | about 2 years ago | (#38878657)

I literally just dozed off while reading this article.

Performance monitoring. (2)

Tyr07 (2300912) | about 2 years ago | (#38878767)

Not going to be used even remotely for what it should be excluding heavy machinery (which would be very valueable).

They'll use it to monitor performance levels. Employee's often perform less work when tired than when awake and alert. Stores will want to use them to monitor sales associates and so on. They can also tell then if you're coming into work tired and use these metrics in determining if they should let you go.

"Hmm..sales are bad this month. Could just be a slow month for retail....oh hey..look...jim's been really tried this month. I guess he's just not performing, that's what sales aren't working. Heck, with all this sopa and people definitely always want our products no matter what so clearly piracy is the only thing that hurts profits it must be jims fault"

(Sorry about the slight derailment into sopa, screw you large companies, half your content sucks and isn't worth buying and wouldn't be bought either way)

rowing the boat (1)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about 2 years ago | (#38878797)

I think you could do that with a tilt meter. They need those in classrooms, too.

SmartCap Version 2.0 (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#38878991)

SmartCap version 1 just reads how tired you are. SmartCap version 2 senses the subjects you are thinking about. SmartCap version 3 with new Employee Thought Enforcement Collar can give the employee a mild shock if the employee's thoughts veer off of approved topics. Your workers' productivity will improve dramatically once you can restrict their thoughts to only work-based activities!

Re:SmartCap Version 2.0 (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#38880179)

Skip to SmartCap V 6.0 where they put the correct thoughts directly in your brain.

One small issue... (2)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 2 years ago | (#38879139)

This is great, but you can bet someone will find a medication that artificially lowers brainwaves to get out of doing work.

Re:One small issue... (2)

Rhacman (1528815) | about 2 years ago | (#38880003)

They already sell that medication in convinient 6 packs.

Older people probably appear more fatigued (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#38879731)

Watch for this to be used in stealth ageism.

Same tech can encode/decode thoughts and more (1)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38885281)

The government has been reading the minds of citizens for years using covertly-implanted neurotechnology that they put in people's heads while they are knocked out. Remember all those "alien abduction" stories of the past 20-30 years?

The neurotech is like a hyper-advanced version of your iPhone. But it lets them send commands to your brain, including verbal thought, audio and video information and motor commands (involuntary movement). They can also decode what you are thinking in real-time.

This is already being dozen to at least thousands of citizens covertly without their knowledge or consent and constitutes a grave human rights violation on a mass scale. Most western governments are doing this and have been for years. For more info just google "synthetic telepathy" and "targeted individuals." Also check out this article:

http://www.karlaturner.org/when-everyone-has-a-brain-implant [karlaturner.org] [karlaturner.org]

I wish they'd work on monitoring pain (1)

RexDevious (321791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38886229)

Physical pain is biology's way of telling us something is wrong, yet it's one thing doctors have no objective way of measuring.

The amount of pain a person is *really* experiencing, and its location and nature, are in many cases the only information a doctor has to go on for both diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses. If they could measure that pain the way they can measure temperature and blood pressure - their ability to treat us effectively would be increased as dramatically as it has by the existence of thermometers and blood pressure cuffs.

Heck, even if you could only determine vaguely how much general physical pain a person was experiencing - that would still be a staggering improvement over what we have now. If we can determine something as relatively vague as fatigue from brain waves, the ability to determine pain levels is certainly within reach.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?