Our idea discovery process
We thought about many app concepts. But they all revolve around the same theme - showing user some information when he arrives in certain place, like general tourist information, cool places to eat, geo-located reminder or some geo-located message from your friend. We liked that but still strived to come up with something outside this scheme.
Next we thought about different phone profiles and notifications settings when it's detected that you arrive in a certain place (work / school / home). That would be quite smart but not really something that people badly need. We were still missing big problem. We wanted something that would be able to show full power of ambient sensing technology and respond to actual existing problem.
Finally we realized very simple thing that phone settings and behavior could be changed automatically not depending on where we are but depending on whether we are driving or not. And here's what we did.
The problem we picked
Almost 25% of auto collisions in the US involve cell phones. That's over 1 million crashes a year. Statistics are very alarming and there are increasing number of drivers (especially young ones) involved in car wrecks who admit to texting or talking on their phone devices at the time of the crash. It is a big global problem. 34% of Americans admit to text while driving. Talking on the phone is also a major distraction (what may come as a surprise to some is the fact that it significantly raise the risk of an accident even in hands-free loud speaker mode).
What has been done to solve the problem so far ?
There were quite a lot of social campaigns to raise awareness of the problem. But we keep forgetting to silence our phones (and even if do visual notification can be quite also a distraction especially if we're running navigation app on the phone). And we all know it's hard not to have a look when phone rings or text comes in. With our app we want to put the temptation away !
This app detects when you're driving and silences all notifications, hides and reject incoming phone calls and hide messages while you are detected to be driving. When stop is detected they are presented back to you - app catches history of all dismissed notifications and display them back to the user but not until his car has come to full stop, please note it may take few second before stop event is generated. It is easy to use. In fact we wanted to make it as simple as possible. Just enter the app, turn on the safe mode and thanks to Alohar ambient sensing technology phone will detect its state and makes sure you're safe when driving minimizing the battery usage. It is very simple product but we think it may be very effective one. It can work as a service in a background and activate when needed. Actually we believe such solution should be on default installed on every device !
App requires Api 18 (Android 4.3). On Nexus phones incoming phone call flashes for a moment before it's automatically disconnected (voice alarm is completely deactivated). On every other device we manage to hide incoming calls entirely when you are driving.