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TextNinja hopes to stop you texting while driving

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text ninja
No more dangerous driving

Texting while driving a car is a very bad idea. Thankfully, TextNinja is a way to help wean you off the potentially lethal habit.

According to the people behind it, the main cause of people checking their phones while driving is Fomo – Fear of Missing Out. You hear a notification, and immediately want to know what's going on – who's contacted you? what do they want? etc.

TextNinja aims to break the habit. It consists of a small device you install in your car. Pair your phone to it via Bluetooth, and it silences notifications like text messages, sends an auto reply so you're not tempted to reach for your phone, and earns you points for concentrating on the road. You only have to pair it once – every other time it'll do it automatically, as long as your Bluteooth is switched on.

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As you earn more points, you're granted different coloured belts as if you were learning a martial art. The ultimate goal is to become a Text Ninja black belt. The firm then says this will earn you discounts on your car insurance, though you'd have to speak to insurance companies to confirm this.

Some phones – like the Moto X – detect when you're driving and switch to driving mode so you can use them handsfree, though they don't have the gamification element. It's raised $1,500 of a $5,000 target and still has 29 days to go. If successful, it'll start shipping in March next year.

Rick

November 16, 2015, 11:26 am

Or you could just switch your phone to airplane mode, which would also save loads of battery life (and money from buying this).

Jmac

November 16, 2015, 11:58 am

Or put it on do not disturb mode. Or just ignore the alerts until you are finished driving?!

Seriously, what a ridiculous idea. Depressing that something like this can even get any traction with media.

Pg

November 16, 2015, 2:07 pm

What's depressing is the number of people who use their mobile phone - not hands free - whilst driving.

Jmac

November 16, 2015, 2:39 pm

Yes, disturbing and also (in may places) illegal, but that doesn't stop them doing it. If you don't have the willpower or common sense not to use your phone while driving, is a crummy little Bluetooth gizmo going to magically fix that problem?

DH - Retired

November 17, 2015, 5:11 am

I would hope it is illegal generally worldwide as it is in here in the UK, but more than that, actively catch and severely punish people doing it. Ban them from driving for 5 years first time. Ban them for life the second time and give them some jail time too because anyone risking other people's lives for a freakin notification or text deserves jail.

Jmac

November 18, 2015, 5:42 am

Responding to Paige's comment, which I saw via e-mail notification, though weirdly I can't see it on here - but really, are repeat text-and-drive offenders going to bother spending money on a gadget to help them break the habit? And while the inventor posits that insurers may offer discounts, I don't see any links to any insurer actually doing so, and I can't imagine why they would - (a) it sends entirely the wrong message, that NOT texting and driving is an optional thing worthy of financial reward, rather than something that is mandated both by law and by the principles of safe driving; and (b) it would be far too easily gamed.

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