New Way to Be Sure Bus Drivers, and Others, Are Alert

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — The company’s founders, Henry M. Bowles and Dr. Theodore D. Langley, Ph.D., started out running a marine maintenance operation in San Francisco Bay. What troubled them was seeing how worker errors were leading to major accidents. Many of these accidents were associated with human fatigue and impairment. Some workers were too fatigued to work safely. After looking at technology developed for the US Army to measure reaction time and alertness, they decided to use their expertise in computer graphics and neurophysiology to develop a screen for alertness that would appeal to the industrial market. This is a market where worker errors can be costly and dangerous. But work cannot stop to test operators, the test had to be short.

So Bowles and Langley tried a test that used graphic symbols and takes just one minute. This was a radical departure from the tedium of traditional 20 – 30 minute alertness tests. The Bowles-Langley Alertness Test was then itself tested in a series of clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The company was granted 3 US Patents. This test was made available on the web and has been integrated into shift work management software internationally.

This technology is now available on the iPhone as a App: Alertometer®. Using an ingenious graphic with contra-rotating disks and blades, it is challenging but entertaining. And it may be linked to a central server so that managers can quickly check individual results for possible warnings of fatigue and impairment.

So a tired bus driver about to go on overtime can test himself for excessive fatigue. At the same time, his manager hundreds of miles away can check to see if he is safe to drive.

For more information about this technology visit For further details about the Alertometer® App, visit or call 510 864 3111.

Bowles-Langley Technology is a leading provider of human performance testing software for the industrial and medical markets.


Henry Bowles
Bowles-Langley Technology, Inc.