Smartwatch vibrates to stop you sleeping on the job (Wired UK)

How Spark WorksEddy Zhong

We’ve already got smartwatches for monitoring fitness, sleep and
incoming communications, but here’s one that makes sure you don’t
nod off at an inopportune moment.

Spark is designed for the busy and the narcoleptic (OK, we made
that bit up) and it works by monitoring your fatigue and then
vibrating you into wakefulness if necessary.

In order to check whether you are falling to sleep or not, Spark
monitors your movement velocity and frequency. These two sensors
“gather data into a unique algorithm” that will estimate your
conscious state.

If Spark detects you are heading to Snoozeville, it will use the
vibration motor to jolt you awake — the user can set the

When not in use as a sleep deprivation device, Spark also
doubles as, er, a watch, with a nice shiny LED screen.

Spark is developed by a company called Blanc, founded by student Eddy
Zhong, who says he “dreams, breathes and lives by the concept of
innovation”. He was inspired to develop the watch after his older
brother was taking a timed exam to determine whether he’d advance
to his top choice college.

“He was a top student in his class and very academically
talented. However, a family incident occurred the night before and
he didn’t get any sleep. During the test, he dozed off during one
of the sections and was out for almost 15 minutes of the exam.
Because of this, he didn’t get a good score or advance to the
college of his choice.”

It’s not just Zhong’s brother who has trouble staying awake, but
“office workers, medical staff and even security guards” are all
clamouring for Spark, so says Spark’s marketing material.

For those who think having a vibration alarm isn’t annoying
enough, Team Spark has even considered making the device shock
people into wakefulness. “Maybe it would be helpful, but it’s not
something we can add without going through rigorous testing and
health regulations, which would greatly delay shipment,” says the

Spark is raising funds on Kickstarter and has already surpassed its initial goal of
$6,000. The funds will be used to manufacture and ship the first
batch of watches.

You can pre-order one of these torture watches for $49.

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