UPDATED 12:30 EST / FEBRUARY 04 2014

Wearable tech to control gamer rage, sleepy drivers and night bikers

This week’s Wearable Tech roundup features two headgear devices – one to help you manage gamer rage and another to keep you from nodding off while driving. We also see a new, connected glove to keep bikers safe.



Gamer rage.  Are you familiar with this?  I am and I’ve seen this a few times.  This is what happens when a gamer gets frustrated with with a difficult stage in the game or gets uncontrollably upset with other online players.  The result is smashed gaming consoles, damaged controllers, cracked monitors or TV screens, and sometimes, friendships get destroyed.

This is what Samuel Matson addresses with Immersion, a headphone-like device that senses when the gamer is getting angry.  What Immersion does is make the game level more difficult – it can be more enemies that are harder to kill.  But what’s the sense in that?  Wouldn’t that just make the gamer angrier?  Matson believes that Immersion will teach gamers to be calmer.  By learning that gaming will be easier when they are relaxed, gamers will find a way to keep calm to keep the game from getting harder.

The headset is ergonomically designed with an optical pulse sensor built in the ear piece.  The pulse sensor records the user’s heart rate and monitors color changes in the user’s inner tissue.  Elevation in heart rate and change in the tissue color to a reddish tint signifies a user is getting worked up resulting in the game getting harder.  Matson designed a basic shooting game using the Unity game engine and a modified Bootcamp template to test Immersion.

No news yet when this will be available for purchase or if this will ever move to production.



Some people see the need to push themselves to drive even when they are exhausted, but this is very dangerous. Falling asleep behind the wheel can be fatal, not only for the driver but for other cars and even pedestrians.

image source: Vigo

To help people deal with this and assess whether they have enough energy to complete necessary driving tasks, a new devices is being developed that will tell drivers when they need to rest.

Vigo is a heads-up-display unit that takes note of your blinking pattern to determine your level of alertness.  It pairs up with a smartphone app so you can see what Vigo has determined based on your blinking patterns.  If you’re blinking slower, the app recommends that you take a break as soon as possible.  It can give off a vibration if it senses that you are no longer in the peak of your alertness to keep you awake, or flash a discreet light or even play your best wake me up tune to kick you back into high gears.

You can pre-order Vigo now for $79. It comes with a carrying case, is available in two colors, and will start shipping by Summer 2014.



If you’ve ridden your bike at night you’d know how dangerous it is.  Drivers and pedestrians often don’t notice you, even with all your reflectors.   Zack Vorhies launched a Kickstarter project for Zackees, gloves that double as turn signals.  It was successfully funded but if you’re interested in getting your hands on a pair, you can still pre-order one for $75.

So what does Zackees do exactly?  Zackees looks like any fingerless glove and it’s washable.  What makes it different is the super bright LED lights that lets other know where you’re going.  The LED lights are activated by a metal contact switch placed between the thumb and index finger.  To activate the turn signal, the metal contact switch must make contact.  Though Zackees is intended for cyclists, it can also be used by runners and skaters.

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