Home / Explore Technology / Phones / Nissan Fights Distracted Driving With Faraday Cage Armrest

Nissan Fights Distracted Driving With Faraday Cage Armrest

Can't seem to pry your eyes away from your smartphone, even when you're behind the wheel? Nissan might have a solution.

The automaker on Tuesday showed off the Smart Shield, an armrest in the Nissan Juke lined with a Faraday Cage. "Once a mobile phone is placed in the compartment, the Nissan Signal Shield creates a 'silent zone,' blocking all of the phone's incoming and outgoing cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connections," Nissan explained.

Invented by physicist Michael Faraday in 1836, Faraday Cages are shielded metal enclosures that block electric fields. In this case, just place your phone in Nissan's compartment and it will basically be like the device is in airplane mode. When you reach your destination, open the compartment to see all your messages and missed calls.

Nissan said the Signal Shield is just a prototype, but the carmaker hopes it could one day offer a real solution to reduce driver distractions. Sure, you could always rely on your own willpower or desire not to die and/or kill someone as motivation to quit looking at your phone while driving. On the other hand, the lure of an unread message is sometimes hard pass up; that's where the Signal Shield comes in.

Related

Distracted driving is a huge problem. A study released last month by analytics firm Zendrive found that "Americans use their phones nearly every single time they get behind the wheel," or during 88 percent of trips.

"Every day, that's the equivalent of people behind the wheel talking or texting on 5.6 million car rides from our sample alone," Zendrive wrote in a blog post. "When extrapolated for the entire US driving population, the number goes up to roughly 600 million distracted trips a day."

Meanwhile a separate study released last month by the US Governors Highway Safety Association found that pedestrian deaths increased 11 percent last year, and smartphones are partially to blame.

Read more

Check Also

At long last, pet portraits with background blur are possible on the iPhone XR

The new iPhones have some great new photography features, but the XR lacks a couple, for instance portrait mode for non-people subjects, owing to its sadly having only the one camera. So last year! Fortunately third party camera app Halide is here to help you get that professional-looking bokeh in your doggo shots. There’s more to this than simply the lack of a second camera. As you know, since you read my article, the future of photography is code — and the present too, really. What’s great about this is that features that might otherwise rely on specific hardware, a chip or sensor, can often be added in software. Not always, but sometimes. The future of photography is code In the case of the iPhone XR, the lack of a second camera means depth data is very limited, meaning the slack has to be taken up with code. The problem was that Apple’s machine learning systems on there are only trained to recognize and create high quality depth maps of people. Not dogs, cats, plants, or toy robots. People would be frustrated if the artificial background blur inexplicably got way worse when it was pointed at something that wasn’t a person, so the effect just doesn’t trigger unless someone’s in the shot. The Halide team, not bound by Apple’s qualms, added the capability back in by essentially taking the raw depth data produced by the XR’s “focus pixels,” and applying their own processing and blur effect to make sure it doesn’t do weird things. It works on anything that can realistically be separated from the background — pets, toy robots, etc — because it isn’t a system specific to human faces. As they write in a blog post explaining some of this at length, the effect isn’t perfect and because of how depth data is sent from the camera to the OS, you can’t preview the function. But it’s better than nothing at all, and maybe people on Instagram will think you shelled out for the XS instead of the XR (though you probably made the right choice). The update (1.11) is awaiting Apple approval and should be available soon. If you don’t already own Halide, it costs $6. Small price to pay for a velvety background blur in your chinchilla pics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: Trading in bitcoins or other digital currencies carries a high level of risk and can result in the total loss of the invested capital. theonlinetech.org does not provide investment advice, but only reflects its own opinion. Please ensure that if you trade or invest in bitcoins or other digital currencies (for example, investing in cloud mining services) you fully understand the risks involved! Please also note that some external links are affiliate links.