Skip to main content

ORIGOSafe disables the car to stop people from texting while driving

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Detailed on the official ORIGO site, the Virginia-based company has developed an ignition interlock system called ORIGOSafe that requires the driver to insert their smartphone prior to starting the vehicle. Similar in design to a classic cassette tape or 8-track deck, the smartphone is connected into the ORIGOSafe port and a green light appears indicating that the vehicle can be started. In addition to charging the smartphone while it’s plugged in to the ORIGOSafe, the user can still answer voice calls over Bluetooth and have a hands-free call using a headset. However, the ability to send text messages is no longer available since the touchscreen and keyboard are completely covered by the ORIGOSafe.

ORIGOSafe iPhone 5Possibly ideal for parents, this device can make sure their teenagers aren’t attempting to send text messages while driving. While the smartphone can be removed from the ORIGOSafe at any time while driving, an alarm sounds after the smartphone is removed.

In addition, the user will be completely locked out of the system the next time they attempt to start the vehicle, regardless of plugging the smartphone into the ORIGOSafe. In order to reset the device, the system administrator, likely the parent, has to log into the main account in order to unlock the ORIGOSafe for the user. 

When asked about the technology, ORIGO founder Clay Skelton said “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. With highway deaths 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, ORIGO can reduce crashes, increase safety and improve the performance of drivers. ORIGOSafe takes away the temptation to reach for the phone while driving.

Texting-driving-shutterstockThe ORIGOSafe does allow the user to utilize music applications while driving and the smartphone can be removed from the device when the parking brake is active, but the vehicle is still running. According to the site, the ORIGOSafe works with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and kits for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will be released during April 2013.

If the vehicle is passed off to a valet for parking, a one-time, four-digit code can be issued in order to start the vehicle without connecting the smartphone. The one-time code allows the temporary driver to operate the car for a specific time period set by the owner. The ORIGOSafe also acts as an anti-theft device, potentially foiling thieves that don’t have the user’s smartphone. 

According to the company, groups that have expressed the most interest in the ORIGOSafe are parents as well as commercial companies with fleets of drivers. The ORIGOSafe is currently priced at $279, but professional installation costs an additional $125. Users can opt for self-installation, but there’s no warranty included with the ORIGOSafe unless the device is professionally installed. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
The future of transportation: Self-driving cars? Try self-driving everything
GM electric flying taxi

Technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives. Once a week in The Future Of, we examine innovations in important fields, from farming to transportation, and what they will mean in the years and decades to come. 

Stroll around any CES (virtual or otherwise) in the last decade and it’s impossible to miss all the feels the tech industry has for transportation, self-driving cars in particular. Every major technology company has its fingers in cars, from the infotainment systems powered by Google and Apple to the operating systems driven by Blackberry and Linux to the components and circuits that make up the car itself, built by Qualcomm and Nvidia and NXP and a dozen more. (And don't get me started about this Apple Car nonsense.)

Read more
The best front-wheel-drive cars
best front wheel drive cars 2019 honda civic type r

The increased fuel efficiency and traction of front-wheel-drive cars make them a solid choice for commuters or Sportsters alike. With almost every major brand having one or more in the game, drivers have an array of options, features, and looks to choose from. It's true that even the best front-wheel-drive cars are generally not as dynamic to drive as rear- or all-wheel-drive models, but there are plenty of front-drivers out there that are still worth a look. 

We have pulled together the top 15 front-wheel-drive cars to show you just how diverse the selection is. Whether you prefer an A-class Mercedes Benz or a Mini Hardtop, there’s something for everyone here.
Volkswagen Arteon

Read more
From Paris to NYC, Mobileye will bring self-driving cars to metropolises
A self-driving vehicle from Mobileye's autonomous test fleet navigates the streets of Detroit. (Credit: Mobileye, an Intel Company)

A Tesla in Autopilot mode can ply the highways of Northern California without issue, but when it comes to congested cities packed with erratic vehicle traffic, bikes, and pedestrians, cameras don’t always cut it. Or they didn’t, anyway. After years of testing, Intel-owned Mobileye intends to embrace the madness of the metropolis by rolling out self-driving cars in cities across the world.

On Monday, the first day of CES 2021, the company announced that Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Detroit, and New York City will all see fleets of Mobileye-powered vehicles rolled out in early 2021, if all goes well (regulatory issues are still being ironed out in NYC).

Read more