Location Labs have developed a new App for parents to curb their children multitasking with phones while driving. It is based on a GPS device in the phone which decides if the user is in motion and likely a car, it then proceeds to disable the phones ability to read or send texts and transfers all calls to your handsfree or voice mail. The texting while driving menace is looming large in todays environment so this app is supposedly based on a very large consumer base, for parents to ensure their children drive safe and do not get into a car crash.
The app has two versions DriveSmart Basic and DriveSmart Plus. In the basic version the driver can tell the app to go into driving mode hence silencing all incoming calls and replies to messages with a custom text stating the user is driving, calls can also be routed through the Bluetooth handsfree. However DriveSmart plus automatically turns on ‘Driving mode’ when it thinks you are driving. It also comes with a web interface for the parents to monitor in case the user over rides this function. And a profile page with emergency contact information and medical specifications in case of an emergency. It currently supports the LG Optimus T but support for more phones is in the pipeline.
However the app lacks the teeth to effectively police the texting while driving mania. The app does have an override button, which would be much in use. The app costs 4.99 dollars and its low price and smart concept will prove to be its USP.
“We continue to invest heavily in mobile personal safety services, for which we are seeing huge demand from consumers and families,” said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of Location Labs, at a press release. “We are thrilled to launch DriveSmart Plus on T-Mobile with our patent-pending drive-detection technology to help address the national crisis of distracted driving.” The app’s release comes at a time of reinvigorated interest in curbing texting and talking while driving. It has been a highly discussed issue and is claimed to be a highly dangerous activity. Whether or not this app is the best way to do it is under discussion with many still routing supports for the Legal Curbs.
The T-Mobile Drive smart User Interface allows you to override the blocking in case you are a passenger or are in an emergency. It also allows the user to block access to texts except for the Apps you state.
Location Labs is also launching another app based on the parental surveillance theme based on GPS for the T-Mobile phones named as FamilyWhere which allows parents to track the whereabouts of subscribers. Location Labs also offers its software for developers and is concentrating on home based safety apps. Many technologies with the same features in mind were showcased at CES 2011 in Las Vegas by companies such as Taser and Zoomsafe also.