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ZoomSafer Beta BlackBerry App Attempts to Stop Distracted Driving

zoomsafer After a recent study found texting while driving more distracting that driving drunk this was bound to happen. ZoomSafer let me know about a new app they are beta testing that integrates location services, call management, voice control, and social media into one app to help you focus on driving.

Obviously such an app is targeted at the BlackBerry addicts though all the videos seem to focus on teenagers telling other teenagers not to drive with distractions…

  • The playing of a customizable audio file – from spouse, child, employer or favorite celebrity — reminding the user to “be safe and focus on the road” – (Anybody else think this is creepy?)
  • Auto-updates to social networks including Facebook and Twitter (including the option to share location) so friends, family and co-workers know that the user is driving and are less likely to interrupt
  • Automatic suppression of inbound alerts and issuance of auto-replies to calls, texts, and emails to inform others that the user is focused while driving and will respond when available
  • Personalized audio announcements of select callers so the user does not have to look at their phone to see who is calling
  • Voice safety portal so users can create/send voice-powered emails, text messages, and Tweets as well as listen to audio-enabled, personalized content feeds including blogs, RSS, Twitter posts, etc.

I am not sure about posting a status message on Facebook or twitter every time I get behind the wheel. On the other hand I guess this is a boon for parents with inexperienced drivers who need to focus on the road!

You can register for the beta and read more at www.zoomsafer.com

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Hi Ronen:

    Thanks for the post.

    My name is Matt Howard, founder of ZoomSafer.

    Just wanted to offer a few thoughts to explain why voice safety reminders in the context of one’s driving experience could indeed be very useful — and perhaps not so creepy.

    I don’t know if you have kids — but i do. Indeed when my kids are in the car with me — i find that i am a much safer driver and i generally make better decisions. “Do i really need to send that text this moment? Probably not.”

    Creating context so drivers make better decisions is what ZoomSafer does. At least for some people it would be useful context (and not at all creepy) to hear a subtle reminder from a loved one, e.g. “don’t text and drive”.

    Now if it’s your boss? Or, the Governor of your State that just passed legislation? Sure, that would creep anyone out.

    In the end, the service is fully customizable. You create the context that works best for you.

    Hope that make sense.

    Cheers,

    mjh
    [email protected]

  2. Ronen…
    the whole auto-updating thing is definetly not a required add-on..
    however this whole software is rigged with major glitches which has already had me 2 trips 2 get it serviced and finally uninstalling ZoomSaferrr..
    my screen crashed a couple of times, the battery would conk off.. it also eleted a couple of my incoming texts.
    and the priority alerts are no good too… its slow and annoying after a while.. all in all, not at all user-friendly

  3. Hi Terri.

    Matt Howard here from ZoomSafer. We’re sorry to hear about the bugs and user experience challenges that you encountered with our beta. That said, feedback (good, bad, indifferent) from hundreds of others like you, has been critical to our efforts to improve.

    We’ve spend a ton of time over the past few months hardening the software — and we’re releasing V1.0 on jan 7th that delivers a significantly simplified user experience and a broad set of performance optimizations.

    With regard to battery usage — there is definitely a tax given we use GPS to determine speed. That said, we have introduced device side management controls, which means you can quickly and easily change your safe driving settings directly from your phone. For example:

    1. if you want preserve battery you can switch to “manual-activation” instead of “auto-activation” — requiring you to manually activate the software when you start to drive but preserving device battery.

    2. you can change your preferences to determine how you would like to handle hands-free inbound calls while you are driving (all, some, none).

    3. you can enable or disable the hands-free voice dialer.

    4. you can change your preferences to determine if you want ZoomSafer to auto-reply on your behalf (or not) while you are driving.

    5. As the account administrator you can decide if you want to expose these device side management controls (or not) — which is useful for parents or corporations who use ZoomSafer to enforce safe driving policies.

    Thank you again for your feedback. We’re working hard to make ZoomSafer the best that it can possibly be to help prevent distracted driving. If you interested and available, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you directly to learn more about your experience and and share with you plans for our next release.

    Thanks!

    [email protected]

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