A pertinent question regarding Google Glass that is so far unanswered is whether it will be legal to use while driving. The prospect of having the distraction of email, messaging and social media apps in your line of vision when behind the wheel has raised concerns over the safety of the eyewear for drivers. Poised to play some sort of role in this debate is DriveSafe, an app for Google Glass that alerts drivers to when they are getting sleepy.
The app can be download via DriveSafe's website and will need to be sideloaded onto the device as it is not yet supported by the companion app, MyGlass. Users then say "OK Glass, keep me awake" to enable the app as they are about to begin driving.
It uses the eyewear's built-in sensors to detect when the driver is falling asleep, sounding an alert through the Google Glass bone conduction speaker. In addition, DriveSafe can integrate with Glass' navigation capabilities to direct tired drivers to the nearest rest area.
We have seen a number of attempts to address the well established dangers of driver drowsiness. The Anti Sleep Pilot looks to reduce the road toll through a unit placed on the dashboard, while car manufacturers like Mercedes Benz began incorporating drowsiness detection technology long ago.
The DriveSafe app by no means eradicates the inherent distraction of wearing augmented reality headgear while driving. Rather, it constitutes a tick in Glass' safety feature column that proponents of its legality may use to argue their case.