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Scosche cellCONTROL Stops You From Texting While Driving

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Despite laws against it, despite PSAs and documentaries that show the dangers, despite all common sense, there are still tons of people out there engaging in dangerous activities such as texting or web surfing with their phones while driving.

If you can’t exercise any self-control to end this behavior or want to help someone else stop (such as your teen), Scoche has a solution: cellCONTROL.

This device connects to the OBD2 port in your car (all models made from 1996 have one) and communicates via Bluetooth with BlackBerries and Android 2.1+, Windows Mobile 5/6 and Symbian phones.

SCOSCHE cellCONTROL

When the device senses that the vehicle is in motion is disables texting, emailing, web surfing, and handheld calling. Users will still be able to make calls with hands-free devices and listen to music, but nothing that’s highly distracting.

cellCONTROL users can upgrade to advanced administrator utilities that provide data about driving speed, mileage, and get more control over what the phone can and can’t do.

Given the above and that admins can get alerts if someone tries to remove or tamper with the device, it looks like Scosche is aiming this at parents trying to monitor and protect their teens. Though I’m sure it will also be useful for anyone who has issues with self control.

Though available for many phones, the big gap I see here is the iPhone. As Kevin C. Tofel at GigaOM points out, this is probably because Apple doesn’t generally approve apps that require such deep access to and control over the phone. I agree with him that Apple should make an exception in this case or work with Scosche to bring cellCONTROL to the iPhone. Tech-distracted driving is a serious problem that costs lives.

You can buy this accessory for $129 at Scosche.com.

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

3 Comments

  1. OTTER

    01/23/2012 at 12:52 pm

    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

  2. Scout19

    01/24/2012 at 4:28 am

    GPS is not reliable

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