How it works : Worn on the ear and will alert if your head starts to tilt forwards as you fall asleep.
The verdict : Too many false alerts as it alerts every time you tilt your head forwards, not only when you start to fall asleep. It's also ineffective against %u2018microsleep' as you can fall in to this state without moving your head at all. Finally, it offers no protection against a drop in awareness or concentration, it will only alert once you have fallen asleep which if actually too late
Price : Approximately £25.
How it works : Similar to the anti-sleep headset, the glasses are designed to alert when the users head tilts forwards.
The verdict : Unfortunately you have the same issues that you have with the headset, too many false alerts and ineffective when it really matters. On the plus side, the yellow tinted lenses do improve contrast and reduce glare which is especially useful at night.
Price : Between £20-£30
How it works : The unit is placed on the dashboard and is designed to continually measure your awareness by asking you to react to beeps by as you drive. When it beeps you have to press a button and from your reaction time, Anti-sleep pilot determines your current level of awareness and concentration.
The verdict : The unit is really nicely built with a stylish design and obviously has good intentions. Like StopSleep it focuses on your awareness and current level of concentration rather than waiting for you to fall asleep which is too late. However, it takes a long time to set up Anti-sleep pilot, as you have to follow a questionnaire to determine your current level of fatigue before you set off on your journey. In addition, having to reach out and press the unit is not always appropriate; taking one hand off the wheel, whilst overtaking for example or whilst monitoring other dangers on the road.
Price : Between £170 and £200
How it works : The unit clips on to your seat-belt so it can be positioned near to your heart. The unit is designed to monitor your heart beat in an attempt to recognise when you might be about to fall asleep.
The verdict : The unit is more convenient than other products listed here, but it's operation is unreliable. Monitoring the user's heart rate does not reliably predict when a user may be about to fall asleep and also does not help the user maintain concentration and awareness. In addition the unit struggles to monitor your heart rate through thick clothes or a coat. Probably the best of the rest of the sleep-prevention units here, but not quite there yet.
Price : Between £200-£250
How it works : This is a serious piece of kit. The camera identifies multiple points on the user's face and then compares them to faces stored in it's internal database. By doing this, the camera can recognise when the user is starting to fall asleep. In addition the camera will alert if the user closes their eyes for more than 2 seconds.
The verdict : A very sophisticated unit but this aftermarket version generated too money false alerts generated from the users normal head movements. Not as effective as similar OEM equipment which can work very well but are substantially more expensive.
Price : Between £1200 - £1500
How it works : A double %u2018ring' that can be worn on either hand, StopSleep measures your electrodermal activity so that it can monitor your level of awareness and concentration. In addition StopSleep has the ability to alert the user if they are drifting towards %u2018microsleep' and eventually sleep.
The verdict : The only device available that not only monitors whether you are at risk of falling asleep, but that also monitors your general awareness and levels of concentration. Successfully tested in France.
Price : Around £180.
Car manufacturers are also taking driver fatigue and the effects of driver fatigue very seriously. In recent years most major car manufacturers have stepped up their efforts to find a viable solution to monitoring driver fatigue and to find a solution for stopping drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Several solutions are under development but are all expensive.
One solution is to install a discreet camera within the car that monitors the drivers face. It focuses mainly on the driver's eyes but also monitors the face for any signs that the driver is starting to fall asleep. These facial recognition solutions can be very effective, but very expensive and mostly only available on %u2018high end' vehicles.
Perhaps the most common solution offered by today's car manufacturers is the system that tracks the white lines that divide the lanes on motorways. The system follows the line and issues a warning if the driver appears to drift unintentionally across them. The system is expensive and like many other anti-sleep solutions really only starts to work when the driver has fallen asleep at the wheel, which unfortunately is too late.