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New device to prevent cell phone use

Virginia-based start-up company, ORIGO, has launched a technology that is designed to prevent texting and other forms of handheld cell phone use while driving, which is continuing to be a leading killer on USA roads. ORIGOSafe is a new ignition interlock system that requires drivers to secure their phone in a docking station before their vehicle can start. The system prevents motorists from holding their phones to talk or text while behind the wheel. ORIGOSafe is easily installed in any type of vehicle, and is a fully integrated device that supports the top-selling smart phone models. Targeted at teenage drivers and business or fleet users, each system has an administrator, such as a parent or employer, who can configure all settings through a keypad on the device or with an iPad application. Because the vehicle will not start without an authorized phone in place, the unit also serves as a theft deterrent.

If the phone is removed from the ORIGOSafe docking station, an alarm will sound and the light on the unit turns red. Once the phone is put back in, the alarm stops, but the next time the driver goes to start the car, they will be ‘locked out’ and need to call the administrator to be re-authorized, or obtain a ‘one-time use’ code to get back in to the system. The unit also charges the phone while in the docking station, ensuring that the phone is always ready to be used when needed in emergency situations.

“ORIGOSafe was developed to give parents and safety managers peace of mind, knowing that their drivers are safe and focused on the road, and aren’t a danger to themselves or others,” said Clay Skelton, ORIGO’s founder. “With highway deaths seemingly on the rise, particularly among teens, it’s clear that the concern for safety isn’t enough to stop this deadly driving behavior. There has to be an outside force to incite change. By taking the phone out of the driver’s hands, but not preventing making and receiving calls, our device can reduce crashes, increase safety and improve the performance of drivers. It takes away the temptation to reach for the phone while driving.”

March 14, 2013

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