How long before companies use this to squeeze even more work out of us? Researchers in Japan have come up with a new type of alarm that prevents you from daydreaming.
It tracks your brainwaves, can tell when your mind starts to wander, and plays an alarm sound to make you focus again.
In the study, they put electrodes on people’s heads, and gave them a simple 20-minute task where they had to hit a button when numbers flashed on a screen.
When their mind wandered, they heard a tone play, but didn’t know what it meant. The researchers said to ignore it. But even then, it still worked. Their minds only wandered 44% of the time, compared to 55% when they didn’t hear the tones.
If 44% sounds high, it is. But it’s not abnormal. Other studies have found that in general, we’re thinking random thoughts anywhere from 25-to-50% of the time. For some people, it’s even higher.
They’re hopeful the alarm is something we’ll WANT to use to stay focused, not something we’ll be forced to use.