Inspiration and Motivation: As students, we ourselves know that school comes along with many difficulties of various types. The ambition behind our product was to create a product that could enhance students’ experiences in class to allow them to optimize their performance. Specifically, we wanted to address what we believe is one of the greatest catastrophes of college and high school education: falling asleep in class, a horror that not even caffeine can solve. When a student falls asleep in class, the student misses out on important information and catapults hundreds of dollars worth of tuition money goes down the drain. Therefore, we wanted to develop a product that was both preventative and reactive to every student’s individual sleeping propensities.
Solving the Problem: We propose a wearable, eyeglasses which can be worn in class by students. ClassGlass is uniquely designed to detect the alertness of the student throughout their class by detecting whether their eyes are opened or class. If a student does doze off during class, the glasses will detect this within a 10 second interval and vibrate to subtly attempt to wake the student. If the student remains asleep, the lenses on the glasses, will darken to assure the student’s privacy and prevent onlookers from seeing that the student is sleeping. More importantly however, our product offers the student a tool to improve their study habits by streaming data using Iot to track the times during which the individual is asleep or awake. Thus this allows the student to extrapolate their sleeping trends and adjust their habits accordingly. For instance, say Fred persistently falls asleep during his writing seminar, which is at noon every other day. By observing the data provided by ClassGlass, Fred would be able to figure out that if he goes on a Starbucks run at 11am every other day, he can improve his study habits.
Technical Description: Our design features glasses with a RGB light sensor attached to the frame, pointed at one of the eyes when the glasses are worn. The sensor can read varying levels of red, green and blue light coming from whatever it is pointed it - in this case it is either the eye or the eyelid of the wearer. For the device to differentiate between when the eyes are open and when they are closed, we must first give them a reference. In our case, we found it more appropriate to train the glasses to what the states and readings were when the eyes were open. Any significant deviation from this state indicates that the eyes are closed. When the glasses are turned on, the RGB sensor takes 50 readings over 10 seconds to determine the average red, green and blue values when the reader is awake and blinking normally. Over the next 10 seconds, it takes a further 50 readings to find the average fluctuation (current reading - average) in the reading due to movements, blinking, changes in light etc. This is all done in the setup code in the Arduino. We have now trained the glasses to recognise what the readings look like for when the eyes are open. Once training has completed, the sensor takes in 25 readings every 5 seconds and averages the deviation from the average reading (current reading - training average). If in that 5 second instance the deviation is greater than the average deviation found in training for red, green, and blue (this combination was found to be most reliable from our tests), the eyes are deemed to be closed. If not, the eyes are found to be open. While eyes are closed, multiple things happen. Firstly, the Arduino will send a 5V signal to the LCD lenses of the glasses, turning them dark. Then, the glasses will vibrate intermittently in attempt to wake up the wearer by Arduino sending 5 V to the vibration sensor tucked away in the interior case of the glasses. This continues for 4 cycles of 5 seconds, after which the glasses will stop vibrating. Every 30 seconds, the Arduino will also post to Thingspeak the number of 5 second intervals out of the 6 in 30 seconds that the eyes were detected to be closed. This is to allow the user to determine how awake they were at a particular point in time. Once the user wakes up, our detection algorithm will detect this. To confirm that the student is awake, the student must push a button, which will then drain the 5V from the lenses, restoring them to their lightened state and allowing the student to see normally through the glasses.
Build process: We began prototyping our design by affixing a color sensor and vibration motor to a regular pair of sunglasses using tape. The design and the functionality was surprisingly robust so we proceed to move on past our MVP and pursue more ambitious functionalities: tinting the lenses and recording. We originally intended to use smart film to achieve our tinted lenses. We were anticipating purchasing a rather expensive kit which included a small sheet of the film that we would cut and wire ourselves to the required 60 V power supply before pasting them over the lenses of the glasses. Luckily, before we decided to splurge on this considerably exorbitant component, we consulted with Prof. Deliwala. He directed us to something so simple that we had never even thought to consider: active 3D goggles (these are to be used with 3D TVs and work on the premise that the TV flashes a frame for the left eye, and the glasses block the right eye and vice versa alternating very quickly, allowing you to see a 3D image). Doing some research, we found that these goggles simply used LCDs for the lenses which are clear until 5 V are passed through them and they turn dark. We immediately ordered a pair to do some testing. We disassembled the glasses and removed the non-essential electronics. We were able to connect both lenses to the 5 V from the Arduino pin in parallel and we were successfully able to tint the lenses on demand. We were able to neatly tuck away all the wiring inside of the original housing for the glasses for a cleaner looking result. As for the recording - we had also purchased a recording module that ran off 5V so that we could run it from the Arduino, but due to a soldering accident we broke the part and were unable to replace it before the demo so it was left out from our final product.
Marketability: We believe in the importance of learning, but we also understand the prevalence of late nights and in college life, and we believe that this should never be an impediment to the education of a student. We envision that the people who would use such a product are conscious of their drowsy disposition and want to make a change. Our product creates value for students of all ages who want to bolster their education by providing a tool for increased self-awareness and habit tracking. Ultimately, though our initially envisioned market consisted of primarily college students, in reality our product can apply to a much wider demographic of individuals hoping to track their sleeping habits or looking device to provide increased privacy during accidental snoozes. Market size, sale price, target customer, growth opportunity, competition, barriers and costs
Future aspirations: Another action that we intended to happen when the eyes were detected to be closed was that the Arduino would send 5V to a recorder module which would begin recording sound. Unfortunately this was not implemented. A camera affixed to the bridge of the glasses could also be used to periodically take snapshots of the blackboards. We hope that in the future we will be able to expand to outside of the classroom setting and be able to apply our product to a broader market that could benefit from our technology.
MVP Video and Blurb:
Our ambition is to create a product to solve one of the greatest catastrophes of college and high school education: falling asleep in class. We believe we have come up with a solution that will not only prevent such a predicament, but also provide a contingency if such a situation is to occur. How? Glasses to be worn in class by students.
Just open the glasses and put them on, and they begin doing their magic. By using an optical sensor pointed at the eye paired with an orientation sensor, the glasses can tell when the student is inadvertently dozing off in class and will initiate our groundbreaking WUPS (Wake Up Person Strategy) protocol, which, in essence, utilizes vibrational motors to attempt to wake up the wearer by interrupting their spontaneous slumber.
However, perhaps the most innovative aspect of our product is it’s ability to automatically run its WUPEE (Wake Up Privative Exception Execution) procedure after WUPS has been run 3 times but unsuccessfully. WUPEE is comprised of two evasive actions: 1. the lenses on the glasses tint using smart film so that onlookers cannot determine the closed state of the eyes of the reader, and 2. the glasses begin recording sound and video using an inbuilt camera and microphone so that the contents of the class are safely stored on an SD card for later review by the student.
However, perhaps the most important aspect of our product will be its implementation of IoT to record the parameters of the user’s sleep so that the sleeping propensities of the student at various times and in various classes can be tracked and hopefully mitigated. This leads us into our mission and aspiration for our product.
We believe in the importance of learning, but we also understand the prevalence of “late nights” and even “all nighters” in college life, and we believe that this should never be an impediment to the education of a student. We envision that the people who would use such a product are conscious of their drowsy disposition and want to make a change. Our goal for the product is that it will allow students to bolster the very reason they are in school or college: their education. College can be a hard place on students sometimes for many many reasons, but we hope that our product can make one particular aspect just a little bit easier.