A Buffalo startup company, Heads Up, has created a device that fits on a worker’s safety glasses and monitors for safety threats, like noise, and notifies the wearer – and a safety manager at a central location – if such threats are present.
The device also links wirelessly to a cellphone and helps with communication in very loud environments, sending warnings or notifying the wearer of incoming calls. A light in the wearer’s peripheral vision illuminates and changes color depending on the threat or message.
The simple, light-weight device currently monitors for unsafe noise levels, and is being expanded to measure heat, humidity, altitude and worker-down status. In development is a sensor for silica dust.
“We’ve built a platform that we are able to rapidly adapt, depending on the customer’s needs,” said Brendon Dever, CEO of the firm, which has received support from UB. If a company has a specific threat to monitor, Heads Up can configure its device for that.
A customer asked for a way to make sure its workers were safe when working alone. Dever said they designed the man-down function that alerts a safety manager when someone stops moving for an extended period.
Why check for altitude?
“So you can be located on a high rise construction site. If you are working on the 30th floor and need to be found, we can cross reference your GPS signal and the altitude to find what floor you are on,” Dever said.
The system also performs analysis, so that as more data is gathered from the devices, the system “will be able to predict the conditions that exist prior to an accident happening,” Dever said.
Dever said the company is in negotiations with existing companies about using their technologies for detecting hazardous gasses. “Noxious gas is a very highly regulated, specialized environment,” he said.