One of the hardware startups that graduated from the most recent HAXLR8R incubator has taken to Kickstarter with its creation. The gadget is called Vigo, which is touted as an energy gauge for humans. The team is seeking to raise $50,000 in its new Kickstarter campaign.
The device fits onto one ear and looks a bit like a Bluetooth headset (which is unfortunate, as Bluetooth headsets look dumb), except that it’s pretty long. It needs to be long so that the tip of the Vigo can track the patterns of your eye-blinks to tell when you’re zoinked. The idea is that although the brain can deceive you about when you’re tired, your body totally gives the game away.
The Vigo team has also made an iPhone app that can track your energy levels during particular events during the day.
The app and the headset can combine to nudge you if you’re getting drowsy. The team points out that this can be especially useful when driving. Or during PowerPoint presentations. Both of which are equally deadly.
In a future dystopia, all workers are forced to wear these, and the gadget sends electric shocks when employees dip below 60 percent alertness.
Aside from a four-month spell in Shenzhen in southern China during the autumn HAXLR8R incubator batch, this is not technically an Asian startup. Jason Gui tells us that Vigo started as a concept at the University of Pennsylvania, then the team decided to bring Vigo to life and turn it into a real product at HAXLR8R. Now the team is back in California, prepping to ship the Vigo to early Kickstarter backers in May 2014. The early-bird price is $59, but the retail price is set at $119.
The funding campaign runs to February 1, but after two days it’s already at $16,500 (the goal, remember, is $50,000) so it seems the Vigo will reach its goal before it heads into production.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)