Smartphones are a great productivity tool and they're also a great resource in an emergency. But many people are trying to do too much on their phones while driving, such as sending text messages
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 4, 2007
As part of its work in the area of productivity training and smartphone research, People-OnTheGo today launched an educational campaign targeted to smartphone users and those considering a smartphone purchase. Through the campaign, the company promotes phone features that help facilitate safer driving habits, provides comparisons of popular models, and offers safety tips regarding the use of smartphones.
While the best policy is to focus on driving and to reserve use of mobile devices for emergencies, the reality is that smartphone and cell phone users have a difficult time disconnecting from their busy lives while driving. Acknowledging this, People-OntheGo Founder and CEO Pierre Khawand discusses driver-friendly features, among a wide range of purchasing criteria, in "The Smartphone Experiment", a new, step-by-step guidebook for smartphone buyers. The book documents the author's own experience using 12 of the most popular smartphones models in real-world settings and circumstances.
According to Khawand, beyond personal preferences and work styles, smartphone buyers should also consider how the phone will be used in various environments. "As state governments begin to enforce the safe use of mobile phones in cars through 'hands free' laws and other regulations, it becomes even more essential that smartphone buyers look for phones with key features that minimize handling of the device while operating it in the car," says Khawand. However, he emphasizes that drivers should refrain from using their smartphones while driving, as much as possible.
Selecting a Smartphone Based On Driver-Friendly Features
Buyers should look for phones that provide a range of automated features and short cuts that enable quick-glance, single-hand, and hands-free operation in the car. More specifically, "The Smartphone Experiment" identifies the following driver-friendly features to look for when purchasing a smartphone:
- Ease of use: Keys that are easy to press and identify without looking
- The ability to speed dial: Can you easily include extensions? Does it allow for pauses (which is necessary if calling into voice mail systems)?
- Voice dialing capability: This further reduces the need to look at your phone or press keys
- Voice memo feature: Allows drivers to record notes instead of trying to write them down
Comparing Popular Smartphone Models
"The Smartphone Experiment" provides a detailed account of the author's experience using popular models from Blackberry, Apple, Palm, Motorola, T-Mobile, AT&T, Nokia, and Samsung Based on his experiential research, Khawand found that the smartphone models he tested offered driver-friendly features to various degrees. However, no model stood out as a clear winner in all areas. Smartphone buyers need to identify the phone operations they can't live without while in the car and evaluate based on how easily the phone will allow them to execute those tasks with one touch or one glance. Khawand provides the following general comparisons, based on operating system:
- Blackberry devices rank high on speed dialing features (including extensions and voice commands with pauses). The Blackberry Pearl also provides voice dialing and recording features, but pressing the keys may not be as easy given it doesn't offer a full QWERTY keyboard and uses the smaller keypad. The keys are easier to identify and press on the Blackberry 8700 and 8800 models.
- Treo devices rate fairly well on speed dialing features and offer a full QUERTY keyboard, but the keys aren't as easy to identify and press.
- Windows Mobile devices (from Motorola, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Samsung) offered most of the driver-friendly features, but the quality and capabilities of the voice dial and voice recording features varied.
- The Apple iPhone While the phone is very user-friendly, it relies primarily on touch-screen technology and therefore required the most "touches" and glances to execute common tasks, and therefore is not as driver-friendly as other smartphones.
"By design, smartphones perform more tasks than a cell phone and therefore present more ways to divert your attention when used in the car," says Pierre Khawand, Founder and CEO of People-OnTheGo. "However, it's possible for people to use smartphones safely if they're using driver-friendly features and follow our guidelines for safe use."
Tips for Driving Smart
People-OnTheGo offers the following rules for the safe and responsible use of smartphones while driving:
1. One glance only: If you must use your smartphone while driving, stick to tasks that require one glance. One short glance is reasonable, but frequent or long glances is unsafe behavior
2. Get ready before you get going: Check directions and schedules, pre-program common numbers into speed dial, etc.
3. Use a headset or wireless phone speaker system: Keep both hands on the wheel as much as possible, a practice that is (or will be) required by law in some states
4. Use speed dialing and voice dialing only: Make sure you know how to operate voice dialing in advance and the numbers you need are programmed in advance
5. Record voice notes: Capture thoughts using the voice note feature or set-up a speed dial to your voicemail and leave yourself a message
6. Don't type and drive: While the car is in operation, don't send text or e-mail messages under any circumstances
7. Stop the car if you need to: The best practice is to pull over if you must use your phone, but are unable to adhere to the "one glance" rule
"Smartphones are a great productivity tool and they're also a great resource in an emergency. But many people are trying to do too much on their phones while driving, such as sending text messages," says Khawand. "We advocate the safe and responsible use of smartphones in the car and encourage people to take the "don't type and drive" pledge."
As part of the company's responsible driving campaign, people can share the "don't type and drive" message with friends and family through a personalized, animated greeting card available at: http://www.people-onthego.com/smartphones_sendcard.html The company will also discuss driver safety and driver-friendly smartphone features in a complimentary lunch-time webinar on Dec. 6., as part of a broader presentation on "The Smartphone Experiment." To register for the webinar, go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/308367485
About the Book
"The Smartphone Experiment" is the first comprehensive guidebook to help business professionals purchase the ideal smartphone. The book takes readers through the author's own "experiment" with 12 popular smartphone models (including the iPhone), and provides them with detailed product reviews, background on the various technologies, and specific approaches buyers can use to conduct their own evaluations and select the best device for their needs. The book will help buyers avoid the typical trial-and-error approach to buying a smartphone and saves them hours of research. "The Smartphone Experiment" is available for $19.95 through LuLu.com as a paperback or digital download. Visit: http:/http://www.lulu.com/content/1198516.
About People-on the Go
People-OnTheGo helps companies and their employees improve their productivity and effectiveness while in the office or on the go. Led by productivity expert Pierre Khawand, the company's services are designed to help professionals to more effectively use e-mail, office applications, and handheld devices in order to save significant time, communicate more effectively, and minimize legal and security risks. People-OnTheGo's training programs - including the popular "Accomplishing More in Less Time, Less Effort, and Less Stress" workshop and teleclass - help business professionals to manage competing priorities, to-do lists, and e-mail, and effectively cope with information overload. Programs are delivered in the form of onsite training, full-day workshops, live online seminars, and self-paced Web offerings.
Visit http:/http://www.people-onthego.com for more information.
Ellen Butler, for People-OnTheGo
Pierre Khawand, People-OnTheGo