Fake phones for driver safety?
An insurance company in the UK is launching a ‘prosthetic or fake phone’. This is in response to research which reveals a percentage of smartphone users see their phone as ‘an extra limb.’
Research carried out by the company as part of its Give Your Mobile the Boot campaign. It reveals that 35% of Brits claim to experience ‘phantom vibration syndrome’. This is where they believe their phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not. Meanwhile an additional 12% have ‘phone separation anxiety’.
Thus the insurance company is trialling an artificial phone. The fake phone can alleviate anxiety people can experience when separated from their real device. The new prototype is a ‘mobile phone surrogate’ which replicates the exact weight and dimensions of a typical smartphone. The only difference between the fake phone and the real one is that it comes without ANY of the technical capabilities. No phone, no camera, no internet – in reality, it’s just a piece of black plastic.
While a fake phone may not sound particularly scientific, a number of recent university studies into the issue of smartphone addiction inform its development.
While there are no doubt questions with regard to other aspects safe driving – having the hands off the wheel – it will be interesting to see what the feedback is regarding its success.
Till next time – don’t be distracted, it is simply not worth it.
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