For those who would rather not use coffee to stay awake, Takanoha & Co. has developed an ingeniously clever earpiece alarm. Its latest model, the Nap Vieeb Plus II, is designed to sense when you fall asleep and then trigger an alarm that wakes you up again.

How does the device know when you're falling asleep? It measures the angle at which your head is positioned, and once it drops below a specified angle (which can be preset using a dial on the earpiece) it delivers either an audible alarm or a vibration to wake you up. It weighs in at only 15 grams, and is attached to the ear with a special silicon rubber loop.

Clearly the Nap Vieeb Plus II would be a great gadget for a wide range of users. I know I certainly could have used this in college having fell asleep on my keyboard more than a few times the night before a big paper was due. Having this kind of earpiece would have definitely helped.

According to The Nikkei Marketing Journal, the company's president Kozo Samizo created the Nap Vieeb Plus II having himself dozed off at the wheel resulting in an accident.

You can purchase the Nap Vieeb from the company's website for 2500 yen (about $27), but unfortunately it's in Japanese only. There is however some English contact information on its web store page that might be of use for inquiries.

Nap Vieeb via Nikkei.com