T-Mobile apps block drivers from texting or calling, let parents track kids’ whereabouts


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T-Mobile USA Inc. is planning to help parents keep track of their kids -– by shutting down teens’ phones while they drive and pinpointing their location at all times.

Pairing with Location Labs, the wireless service provider launched its DriveSmart Plus application on Wednesday to prevent texting and calling on the road.


Subscribers with Android smart phones who opt-in to DriveSmart can have the devices automatically disabled when they’re in a moving car. Incoming calls are sent directly to voicemail, and the system sends a text to the caller.

Location Labs and T-Mobile also showed off FamilyWhere, an app that allows users to track family members’ whereabouts. Parents, for example, could receive alerts when their child’s phone arrives at school. Others could use the app to keep tabs on elderly parents.

The app also features an emergency profile page, complete with physical descriptions and photos of relatives, medical specifications and contact information.

Similar technologies cropped up all over the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from companies such as Taser and ZoomSafer.

QNX, a subsidiary of Research in Motion, created a function for BMW that reads e-mails and text message aloud. Hyundai’s Blue Link system can sense when the car has traveled outside pre-set boundaries. And Ford’s MyKey technology can slow cars down when teens are driving too fast.



Consumer Electronics Show: Automakers showcase technology to go

CES: Hyundai’s thief-thwarting Blue Link system

-- Tiffany Hsu