In an ideal world, everyone would always get enough sleep and would never have to drive when they're tired. This is not an ideal world. In my industry in particular, we work ridiculously long hours, often with very little time off between shifts. Unfortunately, this leads to accidents when someone inevitably falls asleep behind the wheel.

Obviously, getting sleep is better. But if you can't, then maybe Steer is something you should consider. This straps to your wrist much like any other smart watch and is designed to detect when you're about to fall asleep behind the wheel. When that happens, it gives you an electric shock.

Seriously. If you start to nod off, you're going to be in a little bit of pain... and that could very well save your life.

Steer is a little clunky at 2.6 x 1.6 x 0.4 inches, but it's not too bad. Besides, you're not really going for fashion here, you're trying to stay safe. It's got an array of 16 different sensors that measure your heart rate and skin conductance, similar to what's used in a polygraph machine. When you first put it on it takes a baseline reading, and then checks every two seconds to see if you're getting sleepy.

The first time your readings dip too low, Steer will vibrate strongly and flash a yellow warning light. If that doesn't make your readings pick up, then you get the electric shock.

According to Steer's creators, it should increase your body’s serotonin, noradrenaline, and cortisol levels, all while decreasing its melatonin levels. Basically, it wakes you up. Not really a bad idea, especially if you spend a lot of time on the road.


Steer is currently a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge €109 or more ($128.85 US) will get you a single unit. They say they expect to ship in November to anywhere in the world.

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