Optalert's Anticipatory Computing

Monday, May 26, 2014 by Scott Coles

What is anticipatory computing?

Anticipatory computing is an emerging field associated with a technology designed and able to anticipate a user's needs. It is also used with new technology or wearable technology performing an action in anticipation of a user’s request or making a suggestion to the user. This term is fairly new, in fact so new; Wikipedia has only a brief description written with no references or sources.

Search engines are great examples of anticipatory computing. You enter a word and the search engine anticipates the phrase you might be searching for. Predictive text is another common application, although, we know there have been great and very funny examples of this technology which can go horribly and embarrassingly wrong.

While saving time sending an SMS may be appreciated by some text-aholics, there are much more valuable uses for this technology. Optalert’s predictive drowsiness detection technology is one such application that is not only valuable, but also potentially lifesaving. Using the Johns Drowsiness Scale (JDS™), Optalert’s technology measures eyelid blinks 500 times a second and predictively warns a user, ahead of time, when they are at risk of having a drowsy-related incident. This becomes an essential tool for people working 24-hour shifts or operating in dangerous workplaces where alertness is critical to safety.  

Optalert’s JDS Score

Developed by Optalert found Dr Murray Johns, the JDS™ assigns a score between one and 10 depending on the drowsiness of an individual. The higher the score, the drowsier, or less alert, the person is. Through numerous years of research and testing, Optalert has determined ranges within the scale which are considered low, medium and high risk.

Low risk: 0 – 4.4

Medium risk: 4.5 – 4.9

High risk: 5 – 10

These ranges are critical for people using the technology as it anticipates the likelihood of a drowsy-related incident and alerts the user and also their supervisors before the user reaches the dangerous state of drowsiness.

How can Optalert make its users “hyperaware”?

Anticipating an outcome is not enough. The person needs to be able to act to either make the most of a positive outcome or remove the chance of a negative outcome. In the case of predicting the risk of a drowsy-related incident, having a multilayered approach to managing the risk is a far better way to ensure the person avoids an incident. Optalert creates a situation of hyperawareness by alerting not just the user but also monitoring staff and supervisors. If a user is alerted they are at a medium risk, they are warned using audio and visual alerts and monitoring staff receive visual warnings. If the person reaches a high risk state, they receive warnings, along with the monitoring staff and nominated people can also receive immediate SMS text message and or email alerts. This situation creates hyperaware users and supervisors to ensure the anticipatory computing technology creates positive behavioural change to reduce risk and keep the user safe.

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