Patent of the week- Sleep detection and driver alert apparatus
Safety is always considered a priority by the automobile manufacturers and through various processes they always strive to always improve upon the safety functionality in the vehicles, but that alone does not prevent accidents from ever occurring. Most of the accidents which occur are due to human errors.
Accidents due to the driver falling asleep at the wheel became more prominent in the economic boom resulting from globalization. wherein night journeys and long driving had substantially increased and so did the toll of accidents occurring due to the driver dozing off and not being able to control the vehicle.
To prevent such incidents from occurring, James Russell Clarke, Sr and Phyllis Maurer Clarke invented a sleep detection and driver alert apparatus upon which he obtained Patent Protection with the patent number US5689241A on 18th November 1997
This device was placed around the rear view mirror or on the dashboard and was used to evaluate the psychological state for vehicle drivers or machine operators.
It contains all lenses and electronic detection mechanisms for monitoring the effects of early impending sleep by means of an infrared auto-focusing, image stabilizing lens with zoom capability. This means that the device would check the non-moment of the driver and his decrease in breath temperature, which is a physiological response to hypoventilation thus initiating drowsiness, will trigger the infrared camera to zoom onto the eye region of the driver.
This device was thus used for detecting, measuring or recording the state of alertness or consciousness of drivers or machine operators from physiological measurements such as tracking eye motion, measuring heart rate. Anti-dozing alarms were present for ensuring the safety of persons indicating a condition of sleep. This invention thus, helped keep the driver awake at all times, even when he felt drowsy. This was a necessity to deter accidents from taking place in such circumstances.