The smartphone is the prime symbol of the advancement of technology today. It is the one external appendage everyone has in common. The one tool to connect us to the world. Yet, the smartphone can also be a destructive gadget.
Earlier this year, the Inspector-General of Police said that mobile phone use is one of the leading causes of accidents in Malaysia. This comes as no surprise to us Malaysians. Take a drive along the Federal Highway or any other main road in town and you’ll see drivers glued to their mobile phones while driving. The ever-present distraction of the smartphone is a big factor into why the number of road accidents is going up each year.
This said, today’s smartphones have interesting wireless technology to use when driving. Let’s look at what today’s top smartphones have to offer in wireless technology.
Available in most flagship phones this year, Bluetooth 5 is the latest in wireless technology you can use in your car. Granted your car has Bluetooth capability, you can connect your phone to the car with a few presses of a button. But how is Bluetooth 5 different from Bluetooth 4.2?
Here’s what Bluetooth 5 offers:
- Extended distance up to 120 meters
- 2 Mbit/s burst speed
- Increased bandwidth
Bluetooth 5 is available on phones such as the iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Samsung Galaxy Note 9. As many drivers have crashed due to changing radio stations or skipping their playlist on their phones, Bluetooth 5 allows wireless connectivity with your car's system. That way you get all your phone's music and other functions such as navigation on the overhead display.
Apple calls it Face ID, Samsung calls it Iris Scanner – this sensor allows you to unlock your phone simply based on your face or eyes. Instead of taking your hand off the wheel and trying to unlock your phone, just glance towards the gadget and it unlocks itself.
This may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to technology today, but for drivers, this is the easiest, hands-free way to unlock your phone. Custom your settings to display your messages when you unlock your phone and you can easily read your messages just by glancing at it.
Voice Activated AI
With a step into the future, we must talk about how artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence in our smartphones today comes in the form an assistant. Siri, Alexa, Bixby – all your companions when it comes to operating your smartphone and other electronics. Tell them what to do when you drive. “OK Google!” or “Hey Siri!” voice prompt will get you started. Be sure to enable the voice-activation on your phone.
So, instead of grabbing your phone to type out your search, let your assistant do the work for you.
These are three smartphone technologies that enable hands-free driving. What are some other smartphone tricks you can think of to remove the distraction while driving?