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Summary:

Scosche has a simple, $129 plug-and-play solution called the CellControl to help curb smartphone activities while driving. When the module detects the vehicle in motion, all handset activities, with the exception of hands-free functions, are disabled through a corresponding smartphone app. Fewer distractions means safer driving.

scosche-call-restricted

Scosche has a simple plug-and-play solution to help curb smartphone activities while driving. Users insert the $129 CellControl in to their vehicle’s OBD-II interface — a standard port on cars produced after 1996 — which pairs with the CellControl app on a smartphone. When the module detects the vehicle is in motion, all handset activities are disabled, with the exception of hands-free functions.

Texting, phone calls, email and apps are generally shut down while driving with the CellControl and attempts to remove or tamper with the module can be automatically reported to a device admin. That’s handy if the kids try to circumvent the system, for example. Music libraries are still available for use on the car’s receiver and calls taken through a Bluetooth headset or an auto’s integrated wireless system are still allowed with the system.

This is a smart method to help cut down on distracted driving because of cellphones; smarter in my opinion than legislation to accomplish similar results. Laws that dictate no handset use in vehicles can limit the use of valuable smartphone functions such as location services, emergency calls and integrated apps for us in a car. Granted, not everyone can afford the $129 CellControl, but it’s a viable option that uses technology to improve safety.

For now, Scosche’s software is supported on Android and BlackBerry handsets as well as older Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 devices. I don’t expect to see the CallControl gain iOS support as apps that control and iPhone’s core functionality generally aren’t approved by Apple. Perhaps Cupertino would make an exception or consider a licensing agreement with Scosche, given how distracting it can be to use a phone while driving.

  1. Interesting device! But it can’t tell whether the smart phone is being used by the driver, or a passenger.

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    1. The phone number of driver is linked to device so passengers can do whatever.

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  2. You would only need the box for older phones, right? A phone with a modern GPS chipset should be able to reliably tell if the car is moving. Seems like the whole thing should’ve been done in the app itself.

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  3. When will the media realize that the majority of smartphone users do not want their hardware locked down? I think real change on this issue is going to come from the end user – the delivery man, the car pooling mom, or the teen driver deciding to change their habits. From truckers to moms to teens that I spoke with on the issue of text and drive – there was one common thread. If presented with a Big Brother type lock down alternative, they will immediately seek “to get around it”. This does not constitute change on our highways. Selling expensive software with recurring fees that is supposed to lock down the activity forgets that it is the end user (the driver) who will ultimately decide. Let’s change behavior and we will see those violent crash rates plummet…now.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially the younger generation) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. OTTER also silences those distracting call ringtones unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply also allows college students or office workers to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ so they can focus on a lecture, a meeting, or maybe – just get some sleep without feeling disconnected. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways and possibly allow us to focus when we need to in any situation.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER LLC
    OTTER app

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    1. Art Rosenberg Sunday, January 22, 2012

      Good thinking, Erik! Presence (availability) management information could also help the contact initiator from ad hoc real-time attempts.

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    2. GPS is not reliable.

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    3. The problem of distracted driving is NOT solved with an app or a device. Merely talking on a phone using any means is distracted driving. That includes Bluetooth and hands-free of any type.

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  4. The exception to handset activities allows hands-free function, which will work well with the flexibility of time-critical notifications to be delivered in text or audio. We really don’t have to be notified about new emails, but “urgent” messages of any kind can be included the notification flexibilities of unified communication enabled applications (UC).

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  5. This is so pathetic that people need a device like this so they don’t use their phone while driving. Here is a better idea and it will save your $129. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF WHEN YOU ARE IN THE CAR. Novel idea, I know.

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  6. MIAmobi SilentPocket has been addressing this issue of distracted driving with style along with many more problems associated with mobile devices.
    If we start getting people using this product The MIAmobi SilentPocket™ “It will save lives” Out site out of mind. Helps prevents texting and driving. Voicemail rings, beeps, blings or vibes will not be heard. Voicemail, Texts and email will be received once the device is taken out of the SilentPocket.
    https://plus.google.com/s/miamobi

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  7. MIAmobi SilentPocket has been addressing this issue of distracted driving with style along with many more problems associated with mobile devices.
    If we start getting people using this product The MIAmobi SilentPocket™ “It will save lives” Out site out of mind. Helps prevents texting and driving. Voicemail rings, beeps, blings or vibes will not be heard. Voicemail, Texts and email will be received once the device is taken out of the SilentPocket.
    https://plus.google.com/s/miamobi

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