Origo System Fights Distracted Driving, But Does It Go Too Far?
Unless we’re talking about hands-free voice commands, using your smartphone while driving is just an accident waiting to happen. We can tell people not to do it, and warn them of the risks, but in the end it’s up to drivers themselves to resist the temptation to check their Twitter feed while speeding down the highway. One company has devised a system that might be able to force even the most phone-crazy drivers to put their handsets down when behind the wheel, but we wonder if it isn’t just a bit overkill.
Origo forces drivers to dock their phones, with their screens facing away, before the ignition will allow the car to start. Now, it would be unsafe if Origo simply killed the engine if you tried to undock your phone while driving, but if you do try such a stunt, Origo won’t let you start the car the next time – even with your phone re-docked – unless the administrator enters their password.
What if you lose your phone? There’s a one-time bypass code you can use, and also work-arounds for times when you have to leave your car with others (like a mechanic), but don’t want them having access to your phone.
Even with those exceptions, Origo sounds crazy-strict, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it also looks pretty attractive to parents with text-obsessed teenage drivers. The whole package, with installation, runs about $430, and only works with the GS3 and recent iPhones.