Can Biometric Wearable Tech Make Driving a Car Safer?

A pair of glasses that monitor a driver’s eyes for signs of fatigue and distraction are being touted as a potentially life saving solution for those working in the transportation industry.

by Dale Denwalt, The Oklahoman / June 27, 2019
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(TNS) — An Oklahoma City-based startup hopes its wearable tech will be used to improve safety in the transportation industry.

BlyncSync's products include eyewear that can monitor a driver's eyes for signs of fatigue, distraction and other deadly roadway conditions.

The key component is the company's smart safety glasses, which CEO Austin Green said is the latest in biometric-capable wearable technology.

"They're seemingly normal-looking glasses, but they have a lot under the hood. Imagine us cramming an Apple watch into some glasses," Green said.

BlyncSync was formed in 2016 by three University of Oklahoma students and a professional developer. Their first goal was to secure the intellectual property needed to pursue a solid business. They eventually secured initial funding while at OU, then branched out while developing their final product.

That included poring over existing research into blink rates, fatigue patterns and other biometric information.

After a few pivots, they began marketing BlyncSync to transportation companies as a way to optimize shifts and boost work efficiency among their drivers.

"We've done our own studies, not only on ourselves but we've done an alpha (test) with a couple of companies around the area, and we've seen very significant correlations with feedback and self-assessment benchmarking to the data and the back-end analytics work we're doing," said Green.

The company recently participated in the Fuel Accelerator program in Bentonville, Arkansas, that partners with Fortune 500 companies Walmart, J.B. Hunt and Tyson Foods. Representatives from BlyncSync and other startups learned about ways to work with large companies that are dependent on supply chains.

"You learn a lot about what their processes are about adopting and testing new technology, real important information for startups to understand if you're going to service a big supply chain like that," Green said. "It was a lot of very insightful information."

BlyncSync is still pursuing angel investors while pitching the product to local companies. They're also developing a pitch to oil and gas companies, another industry that relies on an alert workforce.

"We're manufacturing a new frame that's very durable and works in that kind of setting, so roughnecks and people working in a pretty intense situation aren't going to destroy our glasses in a week," he said. "They deal with a lot of the same problems truck drivers do. Long work hours, high-stress environment, expensive equipment."

©2019 The Oklahoman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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