December 12 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets Year: 2009 Rating: 4 Hot
Leave it to people in Utah to invent the most anal-retentive product of this decade so far. Key2SafeDriving is a prototype made by University of Utah researchers that allows parents to disable their kids' cellphones while they're driving. The parents can allow certain numbers to be dialed, and of course 911 is still available, but the kicker is the other functions they hope to add into it.
They hope to include a "safety score" which will be sent each month to insurance companies to compile a driving record of each user. "The score also could include data recorded via Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites on the driver's speeding, rapid braking or running of lights, which are calculated by comparing the driver's position with a database of maps, speed limits, stop lights and so on." You'll basically have to drive like a saint (usually the most hated person on the road) or else your insurance company will use that one time you went five miles over the speed limit to jack up your rates like crazy.
I really don't see this gaining ground among the general public. The people I see using this are parents of only children, Mormons, parents who home school their kids, and rich liberal intellectuals who feel their kids will see how much they treasure their life through their over-protectionism. Sorry if I come off as hostile, but this product is so silly it makes me laugh that there might be a market for it. Check out their totally awesome video after the jump (seriously, you have to see it, I'm still laughing).
via Science Centric