A really useful twist on mobile personal assistant was presented in a Nationwide Insurance press release today, involving the company of my friend and client, Dave Hattey. Aegis Mobility, the Vancouver BC startup is developing a client and a hosted service that pays attention when you are moving in a vehicle and when you are not. Using onboard sensors such as WiFi, bluetooth, accelerometers or GPS, their tiny footprint software client for mobile phones will signal to the service that you are in vehicular motion. Once you stop driving, it will signal that you've stopped.

The difference between these two states – vehicular motion and not – means that you are or aren't ready to accept an incoming call, or are or aren't able to safely make a phone call or send/receive a text message or email. 

Any incoming calls while you are driving are mediated by the personal assistant service (resident in a hosted service attached to your mobile operators' network) that reports that you are moving and presents options to the caller such as leave a message, interrupt with a pullover message or automatic callback when called party stops driving.

Emergency mode: E911 calls can be made from moving phones too.

Passenger mode: Users can override the service whenever they are acting as passengers and therefore eligible to safely make and take phone calls, emails and text messages.


So much of the anti-mobile phone use legislation in place in New York and Conneticut state (and others but these two I drive through regularly) is ineffective because research shows that handsfree is just as distracting as handson! Personally, I found the statistics scary – 80% of accidents involve driver distraction, and mobile communications constitutes the largest contributing factor in 35% of them.



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