Innovation That Matters

Ear device monitors vigilance to prevent accidents


Canaria can alert managers when an accident occurs, and is also a preventative tool that monitors when an astronauts is fatigued.

Astronauts are susceptible to a variety of health and safety risks, it is an industry that is always in need of innovative forms of safety measures. Canaria, made by the London-based company, eponymous, and named after the canaries use by miners, the device is designed to work as both a safety and warning tool to help astronauts avoid accidents. The prototype can monitor carbon dioxide levels around the wearer, assess the wearer’s level of fatigue, which is when accidents are most likely to happen, and even send out an alert when an emergency situation occurs.

The device is worn much like a hearing aid, and is installed with a wireless charging system that allows it to have an almost continuous power supply. This system allows the primary device power to be supplied externally, but also uses the smaller battery as a buffer to ensure continuous data collection and transmission takes place. To further minimise the size of the device, the company built a bluetooth and processor system on the same chip. To measure heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, the chip pulses an IR LED into the blood vessels behind the wearer’s ear. Canaria has US and PCT patented status, and can be used in a range of scenarios both on Earth and in space. The innovation won Canaria the Global NASA Space Apps Challenge, winning the title of ‘Best Use of Hardware’ in 2016.

Safety is a field that technology can play a crucial role in, with AR displays on firemen helmets and a smart lock that temporarily cuts off mobile phone signal while cycling, both proving to be innovative. How has technology made you feel safer?



Download PDF