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Heads up on 'hearables'

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Nearly a third of drivers admit to driving while drowsy at one point or another. It’s an especially high risk for professional truckers.

“There are about 3.5 million truck drivers who experience nearly a half million crashes a year. A large part of these are what are call preventable incidents.”

Now, a device called the co-pilot can put a ‘bug in the ear’ of truckers if they’re not driving safely. It’s the latest in a new kind of technology called hearables.

The co-pilot’s Craig Campbell says the gadget will talk you back on track. 

“There’s a headset with Fit bit-like sensors that track very accurately a driver’s motion in 3D space, so we know when a driver's making mirror checks.”

The earpiece is connected to an app on your smartphone. When mirror check activity decreases, a warning goes off.

It’s aimed at truckers now, but a smaller version is in the works for regular drivers.

“We’ve only just scratched the surface of what this category can represent."

Sales are expected to explode. Technology expert Dr. Shawn Dubravac says hearables are coming that will make you really listen up:

Imagine traveling and having a translator in your ear.

“If I were on vacation in Italy, even though I don’t speak Italian, I might be able to understand the conversation simply because the earpiece I am wearing has real-time translation services built in.”

While some offer things like calorie counting, sleep monitoring or fitness tracking, hearables go beyond today’s wearables.

“If you’re running, you might be able to get in-ear coaching.”

Campbell says he counts on his in-ear driving coach.

“I was without one for a few days and I really missed the safety net of protection," he says.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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