As you may have noticed, we have a real focus on natural user interfaces here on Next so I was intrigued today to see a new app from T-Mobile and Location Labs called DriveSmart Plus. The app, currently on Android devices, automatically sets a phone in to a driving mode when it detects a user may be driving.
How does it do this? It uses GPS to determine when a user is in motion (hence driving). It’s a pretty smart idea though I see two flaws from the outset – one with marketing and one with the implementation.
The marketing pitches this as an app targeted at teenagers (or their parents) to keep them safe while driving. In my experience, adults are just as bad, if not worse than teenagers for calling or texting while driving. Maybe a reverse marketing campaign for teenagers to implement on their parents phones is afoot
From a tech point of view, the use of GPS to detect motion presumably means anyone – including passengers – in the vehicle has their phone disabled as soon as movement begins. The explanatory video confirms that there is an override mode so it’s not a biggie but makes me wonder if there are smarter ways that technology could isolate driving from movement.
All that aside, it’s encouraging to see tech like this begin to enter the mainstream.
hat tip to Techflash for the heads up on this
> are smarter ways that technology could isolate driving from movement
I'll go with nothing practical springs to mind. Even if your phone was the key to operate the car, you could still use your friends phone. The phone would have to detect what position in the car you were in. Perhaps a cell phone jammer that only covers the driver's seat, but then for texting, you could just hold your phone outside the field. Maybe gloves... if any hand is touching the steering wheel, a phone in your other hand won't work... unless you steer with your knees.
Seems like something which tries to be clever when it cannot be. A bit like the MS Office Clippie! "It looks like you're driving..." Well, I'm in the train actually...
@fab - ahh, good old clippy! a technology ahead of its time ;)