Here’s a free idea for HA OEM’s. If any OEM can make good on it and put it in a good top-quality HA, I’ll buy it. It would be good life insurance for me on into the future.
A sleep detector for your HA’s. No, not for when you’re tucked safely into bed and catching Zzz’s.
Rather for when you’re driving and fall asleep at the wheel.
I was driving home from Austin the other night on IH-35 at 70 to 75 mph, thought I was fairly awake and reasonably caffeinated but I was a bit short on sleep. The wife was sound asleep in the front passenger seat. All of a sudden my head dropped because I fell asleep. What fortunately woke me up in flash, like a knee-jerk reaction, was my chin hitting my chest. It alarmed me so much that I had no trouble staying awake the rest of the way home.
In the future, I’m going to try not to shortchange myself on any sleep and get my wife to stay awake, converse with me, etc., to make sure that I don’t fatally doze off on any long, boring (especially nighttime) ~ 100 mile highway drives. I usually keep the radio blaring and deliberately change stations just to have something to do to keep my mind occupied but that strategy failed in this instance.
I imagine that the same sort of technology (accelerometers) used in fall detection in HA’s could be put to good use along with other data collected from a smartwatch, etc. At the very least AI associated with the HA app could talk to you (just like the wife!) from time to time, especially if it suspected from incoming data that your alertness was flagging - ask you a question or two that you had to answer. I should imagine that someday something like the Microsoft Hololens 2, which can track eye movement, would do an even better job, but anything like that is right now way too expensive and way too many years off from a consumer version whereas at least the Starkey Livio’s already have built-in motion detection that might be adapted to track sleep or uncontrolled head movements.
Since forum users generally dissed the AI built into the Starkey Livio’s as off the main goal of hearing better with HA’s, I wonder if forum members would have any interest in an HA that could reliably alert them if they started to doze off while driving or exhibited excessive symptoms of sleepiness while driving? If there were any sort of monitor at a reasonable price that could detect falling asleep at the wheel, I think I’d buy it. I know as I get older and older just sitting around in a chair at home especially after a meal I doze off very easily and want to make sure I don’t do so in the future while driving. Perhaps in the future, such AI will come built into the right cars but accelerometers in HA’s could probably sense poorly controlled wandering head movement, etc., way before the car knows anything about what’s going on - but I wouldn’t mind owning a car in the future that detects lane crossing, etc., and sounds an alert if its AI doesn’t think the driver is properly in control of the car.