iPhone Takes a Step Into the Future

iPhoneApple has received a patent that may finally end all the woes of texting on the iPhone while driving. In 2011 alone , 23 percent of accidents were caused while texting. This new patent will prevent iPhone users from texting while driving by using a motion sensor. It is supposed to even be able to tell who is in the driver’s seat. Technology is taking a step towards the future thanks to the iPhone and Apple. The new patent prevents a person in the driver’s seat from texting but will not block texting for passengers. It will not only be used on iPhones, but on all hand-held computing devices.

Another feature it will have is that the driver will receive no notifications until the car is turned off, meaning it will not be a distraction while driving. All notifications will be turned back on once the vehicle is no longer in motion. The patent was originally filed in 2008, indicating that this has been a concern of Apple for a while now. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) states that they cannot comment on this new invention as it has yet to be tested.

This may just help make the government’s job easier as they have tried passing laws against texting and driving in the past with not much to show for it. Another great way it could be used is by having the vehicle send a signal to the owners’ phone to block texting, or even using the car key as a signal to block the texting. At this point it is unclear if it will be used in a future iOS (inter-network operating system) version, but it would be a great way to get parents to invest in this device. If this is successful, it could be implemented in all future phones and cars. This is just proof that the iPhone is taking many great steps into the future with its new patents.

Some experts believe that just blocking texting is not enough, considering that reaction time is still slow even ten minutes after putting the phone down. While the delayed reaction is 35 percent while texting, it is only reduced to 30 percent while using a hands-free device. Apps are also another problem, as 12 percent of people have admitted to using apps while driving, which is up from  six percent in 2006. Another fact is that one in five drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving. There are many ways they try to justify this. For example, they may claim it is safer to read a message rather than compose or send one. Although texting is a problem, people were reading and driving long before texting came about. Some people would read their personal mail while driving their vehicle.

Texting  while driving is banned in 39 states plus Washington D.C., and some states are even banning talking on the phone, even while using hand-held devices. Novice drivers are banned from use of cell phones in most states already. The new patent that iPhone has developed is going to make great steps into the future. Look for the iPhone to include this new technology in the future. It is just one more reason to own an iPhone.

Commentary by Heather Tillman