Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 1.


Staying alert is tough - Vigo can help. Vigo tracks your alertness over time and nudges you when you're not your best.

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Vigo is the first wearable device to quantify your alertness. With this data, Vigo can do cool things like nudge you when you’re dozing off or give you recommendations about when to take smarter breaks. With Vigo, staying alert and being your best has never been easier.

How does Vigo work?

Vigo tracks patterns in your blinks and in your body's movement to quantify how alert you are in real time. The idea is simple - although your brain has a tendency to trick you into thinking you’re mentally fit enough to keep pushing on with your daily business, your body can’t hide when you’re tired. With an infrared sensor, an accelerometer, and a clever algorithm, Vigo knows you’re drowsy before you do.

Wearing Vigo is simple.

1. Wear Vigo whenever you need to be alert for an extended amount of time.

2. Connect Vigo to your mobile device through Bluetooth.

3. Customize when, and how, Vigo nudges you.

4. Tag the event when you’re finished so you can look back on the data later.

What's in a blink?

The average blink happens in 1/5th of a second - but there’s so much information packed in that small amount of time! Vigo tracks over 20 parameters in your blinks and watches how these variables change. This information, combined with data about your activity and head motion, allows Vigo to quantify your mental energy in real time.

When can I wear Vigo?

Wear Vigo to protect you from dozing off on long drives.
Wear Vigo to protect you from dozing off on long drives.
Wear Vigo at work to help break up your day and build more efficient routines.
Wear Vigo at work to help break up your day and build more efficient routines.
Wear Vigo to keep you alert in class or during presentations
Wear Vigo to keep you alert in class or during presentations

Why wear Vigo?

We designed Vigo to give you full control over when, and how, the device nudges you. Choose whether Vigo alerts you when you’ve been idle for too long or when you’re starting to doze off by controlling the sensitivity of the algorithm. And how does Vigo get your attention when it detects you’re not your best? That’s up to you. Choose between a soft pulsing vibration, a discreet notification LED or your favorite “pump up” song to help you re-focus and get back in the zone.

Vigo starts logging data about your alertness the moment you put the device on, and doesn’t stop until you take it off. The companion app visualizes the important information about your alertness in a simple, useful way to allow you to see patterns and make changes in your routine. Maybe you’re more drowsy on weekday afternoons, or maybe you’re in a better state in the evenings than mornings. Vigo helps you understand yourself better so you can plan your day accordingly.

Maybe you spend too much time sitting in one place, maybe you tend to get groggy early in the morning, or maybe you drive past too many exits on the road without taking a rest. Vigo finds the times you’re low on fuel and gives you ideas about ways you can change your routine to help you get in the zone faster, and stay in it longer.

Vigo connects to your phone and functions just like a Bluetooth headset with handsfree talking capabilities - so you don’t have to worry about missing phone calls, texts, or notifications from your friends and family.


Where it all began...

Our motivation to build Vigo can be traced back to our college days at the University of Pennsylvania. Whether we were in a boring lecture, cramming all night at the library, or working long hours at our internships, drowsiness was always haunting us! Coffees and energy drinks were all somewhat effective in keeping us from dozing off, but the most reliable way to stay alert was having a buddy next to us that could watch when we were losing our focus and nudge us when we started to doze off. Since carrying a friend around all the time wasn’t feasible, we built the next best thing - Vigo.

The Growth of Vigo

Vigo has moved through more than 10 iterations throughout the past year, starting from our college campus, and more recently, as part of the hardware accelerator program HAXLR8R in Shenzhen, China. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished and we are excited to present Vigo to you.

(Above) Previous prototypes and testing rig. (Below) Current state of development.


Rewards Summary

Technical Specifications

Vigo contains the following hardware built-in:

  • ARM Cortex-M0 16MHz processor capable of onboard algorithm processing

  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy chip

  • Infrared sensor capable of detecting eye and eyelid motion

  • 6 axis accelerometer and gyroscope with on-board Digital Motion Processing

  • Vibration coin motor

  • RGB notification light which only the wearer can see

  • Rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that will last 2-3 days on each charge depending on use

  • Weight: 20 grams

Vigo will work with any iOS or Android device that supports Bluetooth 4.0, including phones and tablets. Examples include the iPhone 4S and newer, Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, HTC One, Google Nexus.

Inviting Researchers and Developers

Vigo’s built-in infrared sensor and accelerometer can open up a world of possibilities - from taking pictures on your phone by winking, to receiving LED light notifications when receiving text messages and emails, to controlling Powerpoint slides with your blinks. The possibilities are endless.

We are excited to see the creative ways that you would use Vigo. We are launching a Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS and Android, providing a platform and API to develop innovative software and hardware applications. With the SDK, you can:

  • Access accelerometer data

  • Access infrared sensor data

  • Control device functionality including notification LED, vibration motors, and audio

  • Connect with and control other Bluetooth devices

Meet the Team

Meet the co-founders of Vigo - Drew Karabinos, Jason Gui and Jonathan Kern. Drew focuses on the design and user interaction of Vigo. Jason cranks out the technology and dives deep into hardware and software to make Vigo happen. Jonathan leads the prototyping and testing of Vigo to make sure it is being developed and manufactured on time.

We’ve also had many brilliant people contribute to the success of Vigo. A few people who have been vital to bringing Vigo to life include:

King Li - Embedded Systems Engineer by trade, genius by nature

Sam Stern - App Developer, coding guru

Yang Zhao - Interaction Designer, uncanny ‘eye for design’

What is the funding for?

We’ve been building Vigo in Shenzhen, China over the past couple months under the arm of the hardware incubator HAXLR8R. We have fully functional prototypes of the device as well as a companion Android app that can communicate with the device and demonstrate its functionality, and now we need your help to make Vigo a reality. We need your financial support to help us produce the first batch of Vigos. Funds will be used towards injection molds for the casings, building of electronics, FCC and CE certifications, as well as hiring developers to complete development of the Android and iOS app and continue tweaking the algorithm to make it even more accurate.

We want you to wear Vigo with us, give us feedback, tell us what features you love and what you think could be even better.



Kickstarter campaign


Develop iOS and Android apps

Finalise electronics and mechanical design for production


Develop web-based backend and user portal

Submit for hardware certification

Produce prototypes with factory for testing


Conduct product testing and quality control on initial prototypes

Start tooling for mass production


Start mass production

Start packaging production


Ship to backers worldwide

Release app and web portal

Thanks for all your support!

Vigo wouldn’t be possible without the awesome people supporting us. We’d like to thank:

The HAXLR8R Crew: Cyril Ebersweiler, Zach Hoeken, Noel Joyce, Atommann Li, Vanessa Wu, Qiyu Wu, Rong Rong, Spark, Helios, Clyde, BabyBe, Curio, Everpurse, Notch, Palette, Roadie, DustCloud, Petcube, Wearpoint.

Our Development Partners: 220+ Designs (Industrial Design), Leo Xiao (Prototyping), Rhyme Lu (videography).

The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, with a special thanks to Blake Winston for his work throughout senior design, and Dr. Robert Jeffcoat, Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker, Dr. Bruce Kothmann, Dr. Andrew Jackson, Dr. Mark Yim, and Mr. McGinnis for all their guidance at Penn.

A special thanks to our family and friends for all the love along the way!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


Throughout the past three months in Shenzhen, China we met with factories to understand the manufacturing process and worked out a production schedule. However, there may be unforeseen risks involved in production, ranging from factory production delays to supplier lead time delays, that may affect the delivery of Vigo. We will be working hard to minimise any potential delays and prepare for any issues that may arise to achieve our delivery timeline.


Vigo has been designed to comply with FCC and CE standards. The next step is to submit Vigo to testing houses for thorough testing to ensure it complies with certification standards. Approvals take time and delays may occur if modifications are necessary to meet standards. We have already been in touch with testing houses and will be working closely with them to ensure this process is handled as smoothly as possible.

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We will keep our backers informed and up-to-date throughout the entire production and delivery process. Thank you for your interest and support in Vigo!


  • Yes! Vigo can be worn on either the left or right ear, whichever side you feel is more comfortable.

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  • We've experimented with wearing Vigo with glasses and for most glasses, yes - you can! The only exceptions are glasses with exceptionally wide legs that block access to the side of the face where the sensor must see your eye.

    Last updated:
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    DINNER WITH THE FOUNDERS - Meet the founders! You get to dine with the awesome team at Vigo, learn about future plans, and experience the awesome upcoming features of Vigo we are experimenting with in the labs! Also, get your custom engraved Vigo!

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Funding period

- (47 days)