DriveSafe app for Google Glass stops tired drivers nodding off at the wheel

drivesafe app for google glass stops you nodding off at the wheel

If all goes to plan, this could be the year when Google Glass finally gets a commercial release. With the Mountain View company for the last year or so rolling out monthly software updates for its face-based computer, backed up by a slew of Explorers testing out the device and developing apps for it, Glass already appears to be pretty much good to go.

As we wait for official word from Google on a release date, developers are continuing to work on a range of apps so the device can launch with a decent library of offerings for early adopters.

DriveSafe

One such app in the early stages of development may end up saving lives if it eventually finds its way into Google’s Glass-dedicated MyGlass store. Called DriveSafe, the software is designed to issue a visual and audible alert if it senses you’re nodding off at the wheel. It’ll even direct you to the nearest rest area so you can grab some much-needed shut-eye before continuing your journey.

It’s activated with a command that may or may not instill confidence in a driver’s fellow passengers – “OK Glass, keep me awake” – and works via an infrared sensor and tilt sensor. While the infrared sensor detects eyelid movement, the tilt sensor picks up on if your head starts lolling about as you begin to doze off.

The as-yet unfinished version, which, it should be noted, “is not yet guaranteed to stop you from falling asleep while driving”, can currently be sideloaded onto Glass, with the team planning to submit a presumably fully reliable version to the MyGlass store once development is complete.

However, with Google, as well as various state authorities, currently going through a process of evaluation with regards to drivers’ use of Glass, it’s not sure if such an app will make it through to the store.

Google’s current terms of service stipulate that its products and services should not be used “in a way that distracts you and prevents you from obeying traffic or safety laws,” though no direct reference is made to Glass.

Meanwhile, on its Glass FAQ page, Google has this to say about using the device while driving: “As you probably know, most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle, and most states post those rules on their department of motor vehicles websites. Read up and follow the law.”

Last month it was reported that Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein had filed legislation to ban vehicle owners from driving while wearing Glass, while all eyes are on a court case this month in which California woman Cecilia Abadie is set to defend herself against a charge of distracted driving while wearing Glass – the Explorer hit the headlines in October for becoming the first person ever to get a ticket for driving while wearing Google’s high-tech specs.

[Source: DriveSafe; PC World, TechHive]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.