MRP: Rs 350
Road accidents kill 13 lakh people every year, while Indians make up two lakh of these fatalities. To put this into perspective, India houses less than 1% of automobiles worldwide, but still accounts for a staggering 15% of total road traffic deaths. A vast majority of these casualties are attributed to driver errors, some of which are caused by fatigued motorists dozing off at the wheel. Fortunately, Chinese ingenuity has spawned a cheap and inexpensive solution dubbed No Nap, which promises to prevent drivers from nodding off.
How It Works
No Nap is a nifty anti-snooze alarm that sounds an audible tone when the driver falls asleep at the wheel. This potentially lifesaving device clips onto your ear and stays put as long as your head is upright. As soon as you tilt your head forwards, say when nodding off to sleep, a ball bearing shifts position and shorts the circuit connected to the inbuilt speaker. This activates an alarm that blasts an effective 100 dB beep, jolting the driver into consciousness. Powered by three button cells, the mechanism is simple yet effective.
A cheaper, but considerably more uncomfortable, all-plastic alternative can be purchased from DealExtreme.com for $1.7 (Rs 75 approx), shipping included. However, that will take well over a month to reach your doorstep. Unlike the previous all-plastic version, No Nap’s revised design is relatively more ergonomic and secure, thanks to a soft rubber clip that hooks onto your ear. Moreover, the updated version is slim enough to be used in conjunction with spectacles. This cannot be said of the original. Its light weight ensures that wearing one isn’t much of an annoyance. Bikers can use this device too, provided the helmet isn’t too tight.
On The Road
The No Nap sounds perfect in theory, but how does it measure up in the real world? I drove around wearing the device to check if it really works. The short answer is: yes, it does work as advertised. When worn correctly, the alarm would go off whenever my head tilted forward around 20 degrees from the normal position. It screamed into my ear during every single one of my simulated naps. While I found that the device can be triggered even if you peer down into the glove compartment, this isn’t an issue due to an easily accessible push-button switch that disables the alarm at will.
Since its ball bearing mechanism is susceptible to gravity and inertia, I expected false alarms due to braking and uneven surfaces. However, this isn’t a problem because real world tests revealed that only the negative acceleration brought upon by severe braking may set off the alarm. Even then, it’s only momentary. Neither speed breakers nor uneven roads managed to cause the No Nap to register a false alarm. Ditto for hard cornering. Only the largest potholes, when driven rashly into, will evoke a sharp squeak from the device. However, that’s hardly an annoyance.
Ideally, I should have deprived myself of sleep before evaluating the device. Unfortunately, TechTree employees don’t get dental insurance.
At Rs 350 a pop, what we have here is a cheap solution to a very serious problem. More importantly, one that actually works, much unlike the usual Chinese duds. Most tourist and transport vehicles are driven by overworked, fatigued, and hence dangerously sleepy drivers. In such cases, the No Nap anti-snooze alarm proves indispensible to ensure the security of life and limb. If you regularly travel interstate, drive at late hours, or otherwise indulge in long drives, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get one. Forget road safety, the Editor has ordered this for all employees to enforce “No Napping”.
If the alarm does go off while driving, please take it as a sign to pull over and drink some coffee. Better yet, listen to your body and take a nap before you move on. Like they say: better safe than sorry.
Design & Build Quality: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5