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App barks when users try to text behind the wheel

Nonprofit & Social Cause

The RodeDog app detects when motorists are attempting to drive and text at the same time, alerting friends and family members who can discourage them from the practice.

Japanese developers have already harnessed the power of smartphones to alert drivers of potential crashes with the Safety Sight app, and now a new offering is also doing its bit for car safety. The RodeDog app detects when motorists are attempting to drive and text at the same time, alerting friends and family members who can discourage them from the practice. The app works by tracking the GPS of the user to detect whether they are behind the wheel. Each user can add friends and family with the app to their ‘pack’, creating a network of acquaintances who will be notified if that user attempts to drive and use their phone at the same time. If they do, those in the pack can then send alerts to the driver – in the form of audible dog barks – to remind them that they should be concentrating on the road. The barking noises continue until the app detects that the phone has been put down. The team behind the idea, led by 11-year-old Victoria Walker and designer David Grau, came up with the concept as part of the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon for the company’s It Can Wait campaign. Taking first prize at the event, RodeDog now has USD 20,000 behind it to bring it to market. RodeDog is set to be released as a free download for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices before the end of the year and AT&T are hoping to produce more apps based on the ideas of those attending the Hackathon. How else could car owners be encouraged to practice safe driving? Spotted by: Murray Orange

Website: www.rodedog.com

Contact: www.facebook.com/rodedogs

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