This new tool has been developed to track your alertness at the workplace.

Generally, the smartphones we have today with us have more advanced features, including web browsing, software applications and a mobile OS.  Smartphones offer capabilities such as support for biometrics, video chatting and digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa and these features allow us to carry on with the tasks.

Now “Alertness Scanner”, a tool which has been developed by Researchers at Cornell University in the US to track the level of alertness a user has at the workplace and determine their productiveness. It measures pupil size which is captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.

What do the Researchers say ?

“Since our alertness fluctuates, if we can find a pattern it will be very useful to manage and schedule our day,” said Vincent W S Tseng, a doctoral student at Cornel. The tools already present in the market are good at lagging and they are uncoordinated. Researchers wanted to create an effective way to measure the alertness without any mixup. 

Tseng also said, “Since people use their phones very frequently during the day, we were thinking we could use phones as an instrument to understand and measure their alertness”. 
“And since people’s eyes are affected by their alertness, we were thinking that when people are looking at their phones, we could use a moment to measure their alertness at that point,” he said.

When fully alert, the sympathetic nervous system causes pupils to expand while during drowsiness, the parasympathetic nervous system causes the pupils to shrink. The tool could be particularly useful in health care, since medical professionals often work long hours doing intricate and important work. 

The tool could be particularly useful in healthcare eg. clinicians typically look at devices during surgery, and a front-facing camera on the devices could track their alertness throughout procedures. said Tseng.

“If you want to get something very important done, then probably you should execute this task while you’re at the peak of your alertness,”. “You will also know the best time to take a break in order to allow your alertness or energy to go back up again,” he said.