09-Feb-2011 16:40

A new service to disable text & talk when driving?

Would you pay extra for a service to disable texting & talking when driving?

T-Mobile has unveiled a new service in the US called 'Drive Smart Plus' that will automatically hide incoming call & text services if the phone is detected to be moving at speed.

For $4.99 per month, an automatic switch is activated within moments of the phone's GPS feature recognising that the vehicle is travelling faster than 10 miles per hour.
It will disable the phone, send all phone calls to voicemail and receive text messages but turn off all alert sounds & signals.

The technology is powered by a company called Location Labs and they have said the technology could be rolled out to more handsets and more mobile providers. Currently this feature is only available in the US on T-Mobile and only on Android smartphones.

The US National Safety Council reports about 28 percent of accidents occur while people talk or text when behind the wheel.

"This gives parents an element of control," said Larry Petrone of T-Mobile. "It's a way to ensure that the children really are turning off their phones when they are out driving"

But how useful will this application actually be?

Firstly, to be effective and to counter forgetfulness or minimise mistakes, the GPS signal must remain on which would be a drain on the handset's battery.

Secondly, if you or your child has to disable the feature because someone else is driving the car or you may perhaps be a passenger on a bus or train, or expecting an important call or text, that's fine…
But will you or your child remember to reactivate the 'blocking' service before the phone starts ringing while you're next behind the wheel?

To my mind & most would naturally agree, any service that may help saves lives, improves safety on the roads and is cheap & user-friendly has to be a step forward.

But, with this product, once the novelty wears off, will people continue to or even remember to use it?

Hmmm.. Sadly I have my doubts….


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