As we reported earlier this week, texting while driving is almost as bad as drunk driving. And we’ve also been hearing about a lot of solutions to the problem. Maybe waiting until get to where you going to send or read an e-mail is the best option, but who are we to tell people to be a little more patient! Besides, no one would listen to us anyway. They’re too busy talking on the phone or reading their SMS! In fact some of the numbers are alarming. A recent survey by Nationwide Insurance found that one in five people text while driving, and that number jumps to one in three among 18-34 year olds!
But one solution we’ve heard about this week as well is Vivee, or Voice Interactive Voice Enhanced Email. This is a new service from USTelematics, Inc., which reads your e-mail or text to you. A animated avatar character appears on the screen and appears to speak the incoming message to you.
“Safety should be our primary concern when driving,” says Charlene Montalbano, Product Manager of USTelematics, Inc. “Insurance studies show that distracted drivers cause 80% of all traffic crashes, so several states already have laws banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Now, lawmakers are becoming more precise and targeted in the approach to eliminating driver distractions for drivers by considering laws that specifically ban text messaging and reading email while driving. Vivee will not only keep your focus safely on the road, ultimately, ‘she’ may help you avoid a ticket.”
Vivee connects to the Internet through the Verizon Wireless EVDO high speed network, and when you get an incoming e-mail or text, the Vivee alerts you so that you can listen to your messages. Why it needs the talking avatar we can’t say. Wasn’t the idea to get you to STOP LOOKING AT A DEVICE? Still any product or solution that does get people to avoid texting while driving is a good thing… let’s just hope that users won’t feel the need to watch their Vivee avatar and then feel the need to respond.