Sep 1, 2013 – The SmartCap fatigue monitoring technology is taking off around the world, with major mining companies implementing the solution across numerous sites, and EdanSafe successfully attracting early stage investment.
Twelve months after first going to market, the innovative SmartCap fatigue monitoring solution is rapidly being taken up within the mining industry. Mining companies currently implementing the technology include Rio Tinto and Anglo American, as well as many others. A variety of other industries are also keenly interested in the SmartCap technology, including Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Oil and Gas, Transport and Logistics.
One Australian maritime company Australian Reef Pilots (ARP) is trialing the SmartCap to enhance ship, crew and environmental safety. ARP is undertaking one of the most comprehensive maritime fatigue studies in Australia, by developing a rigorous scientific study program using SmartCap.
SmartCap measures operator fatigue by monitoring the operator’s brainwaves, using electronics mounted into headwear of different styles. The system provides the operators, and their management, with a level of alertness, using a scale of 1 (alert) to 5 (asleep). For the first time fatigue levels and impairment due to fatigue can be quantified across mining operations. Currently available SmartCap headwear includes baseball style caps, headband and visor versions, with other headwear versions in development.
A key strength of SmartCap is that it is predictive in nature – alarms sound before micro-sleep events, averting the dangerous micro-sleeps before they happen.
SmartCap also claims to generate less false alarms, (and false negatives), as SmartCap measures fatigue directly, rather than by inferring fatigue based on other symptoms such as eye’s closure or driver behaviour. An independent validation of SmartCap was carried out at Monash University and Austin Hospital’s Institute of Breathing and Sleep, which showed an impressive 94.7% sensitivity in detecting fatigue impairment.
SmartCap is also unique in providing operators with the ability to independently quantify and understand their fatigue, which is leading to real change in their own management of fatigue. Examples are mounting, of operators who have made changes in their lifestyles in order to improve their alertness while they operate large mining machinery.
Having a successful technology is only half the battle, and CRCMining has been delighted with the recent successful capital raising by EdanSafe, CRCMining’s subsidiary company formed for the commercialisation of SmartCap. An investment has been finalised with independent financiers to ensure that EdanSafe can effectively operate, and reliably deliver the SmartCap product to meet the growing demand. Strategic planning and marketing development is currently underway that is aimed at seeing the business expand quickly, targeting mining, as well as other key global industries.