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Summary:

Many can’t seem to break the habit of driving while texting or sending email. ZoomSafer has a software solution that leverages the GPS in your handset to disable the display and keyboard. The app can even respond to email automatically for you while driving.

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I used to be one of those folks checking email, Twitter or my text messages while driving. After viewing some public service type announcements and having one close call to many, I decided to put the phone in my pocket before entering a vehicle. Even if I’m stuck in traffic these days, I still resist the urge to get connected. Some people just can’t hang up the habit however, and I found one company with a software solution when browsing Jason Langridge’s blog today.

ZoomSafer leverages the GPS receiver in your smartphone to determine when you’re moving about in a vehicle. If you’re zipping around the town, the software locks down your device keyboard and display, eliminating distractions. The solution can be set for auto-activation, but there’s also a “passenger mode” setting, allowing for phone use while sitting shotgun. I like the auto-respond feature as well — if set, ZoomSafer will reply to incoming text messages or emails, so folks know that you’re on the road and therefore unavailable. The software also works with a Bluetooth headset to announce callers, removing the need to look at your phone.

There’s definitely a benefit involved for the smartphone addicts out there with a product like this. You can pay either a monthly fee at $2.99 a month or buy a perpetual license for a one-time fee of $25 — both of which are likely far less expensive than an unfortunate accident caused by using the phone while driving. For now, ZoomSafer is only available on certain BlackBerry handsets, although there’s also a free beta version for select Windows Mobile handsets. The company also plans an Android version for release this quarter.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Is Speech-Recognition Technology Ready for Prime Time?

  1. So, does the guy realize his bluetooth headset is upside-down?

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  2. I think your over-reacting to this phenomenon. We call it multi-tasking and today’s youth do it very very well. This is just sensationalism by the Obama Press Corp. The only way I will give up my smartphone is when you pry it from my dead cold fingers !

    The government needs to quit indruding into the private citizen’s life. Everyday you wake up they take a little more of your rights away. Enough is enough. First seatbelts and now cellphones. Stop the madness. The next time you wake up they may mandate using this software.

    Seriously I think these laws will never ever be effective and will be ignored by the masses because it has already shown to be ineffective just like red light cameras.

    Bottom Line: Less Government is MORE !

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    1. Seatbelts save lives! Sorry but I had to contradict your statment. This application could potentially save lives, I mean would you prefer to use this and reduce the chance of a car accident, or have a stranger inform your family that you were killed while driving and texting concurrently.

      Think about it.

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      1. Or worse, get informed that your family was killed by someone using a smartphone while driving.

        If you’re driving your eyes should be ON THE ROAD. You probably suck at driving to begin with so you can’t afford to multitask.

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    2. Seriously? As an intelligent human being with common sense, you’re annoyed at seatbelt and cellphone use in car laws?

      These aren’t ‘intruding into the private citizens life’, they’re protecting people’s lives from ‘multi-taskers’ being distracted when in charge of a 2 tonne object traveling at 50mph!

      Here you go, this is for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRo-2THXaOQ

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  3. I hate receiving auto-replies

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