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Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap

Ford has apparently been testing its SafeCap, which helps drivers stay awake:

Ford has developed the SafeCap, a hat for truckers that senses if the driver is feeling drowsy and issues warnings to keep them awake using vibration, light, and sound. The hat has a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope that monitors head movements and differentiates between regular movements and those associated with drowsiness.

The SafeCap is being tested in Brazil, where truck driver deaths are higher than any other profession. For now, the SafeCap is a prototype. But Ford plans to mass-produce them within a year.

Science fiction writers Larry Niven and Steve Barnes wrote about the opposite of the Safecap - namely, the Napcap, in their 2000 book Saturn's Race:

Fatigue bent her like decades, and she was overjoyed to see the blinking yellow sign of a Napcap rental facility...

The induction cap was not needed, but it snuggled neatly onto her head anyway. Servos wound their way to their appointed places with automated ease. Premoistened contact points hugged temples and brow. A trickle of entraining current eased her into a deeper slumber...

Ordinary human sleep varies greatly in depth and quality, a vestigial remembrance of the time when Homo habilis need to cycle between deep sleep and near waking, lest in a comalike slumber he fall prey to carnivores. In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master, able to stay in the deepest states for hours, increasing the value of each minute's rest manyfold.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/29/2020)

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