Thursday, August 11, 2016
Canadian-Derived DriveCare Offers Measure Preventing Pokemon Go Smartphone Access
This summer, thanks to the popular blending of the real world and virtual world, there has been a new method of captivation for many smartphone-enabled individuals. Called Pokemon GO, the popular augmented reality app turns the surrounding world into a scavenger hunting ground for characters based on a 20-year-old Japanese franchise co-managed by Nintendo. Since its release on July 6th in North America and Australia (before being offered in Europe and Japan at later dates), the app has been downloaded 4.2 million times on just Android devices and is also available on Apple iOS. In total, more than 80 million people are now engaged in the technological phenomenon of Pokemon GO worldwide.
Since the runaway success of the Pokemon GO app, a number of recorded incidents have occurred where virtual hunters have been operating in ways that functioned outside of courtesy and even in a dangerous manner. In some of the more dangerous cases, some mobile users has chosen to combine automobiles in the hunt for Pokemon. In the City of Vaughan this week, one driver was caught by police helicopter driving in an erratic manner as a result of what was confirmed to be a Pokemon GO player. While the incident did not result in any injuries and the driver was warned by police not to resume this form of highly reckless operations of a motor vehicle, the occurrence is one of several potentially dangerous situations is a growing concern in relation to Pokemon GO as well as other app-based distracted driving. A concern that could be potentially lessened by a product from Keeping Roads Safe Technologies Incorporated.
A company founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Angus Poulain after a serious but not life threatening multi-car accident involving his children, Keeping Roads Safe set out to create an electronic module called DriveCare. An accessory that is integrated with a vehicle's electrical system, DriveCare prevents full access to cellular phone or connected device content while a car is traveling. The unit's installation into a vehicle performed by a mechanic would take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
The hardwired DriveCare unit activates about 30 to 45 seconds after the vehicle turns on. A customized screen appears on the smartphone restricting the driver to access to only emergency calls including 911 as well as four additional programmed safety numbers. All apps remain locked as the vehicle remains in operation including Twitter, Instagram and Pokemon GO. Text messages are also withheld as the automobile is powered while an automated text is relayed back to the sender. GPS data is also monitored by the DriveCare system in effort to properly monitor speed in specific stretches of road.
Initially focused on fleet deployment to prevent distracted driving of work vehicles, Keeping Roads Safe Inc. is also eyeing the availability of DriveCare on family cars.