19th century innovation with a 21st century application is rarely a good way to start a pitch. And its not even true – Nissans idea is downright medieval. The car maker is proposing what is essentially a chastity belt to keep you from the temptation of using your phone while driving.
A prototype armrest for the Nissan Juke is the most stylish Faraday cage weve seen yet. If you havent heard the term, its an enclosure that prevents wireless signals from getting in or out – no 4G, no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth, nothing that can deliver or send a digital message between your phone and the world at large.
Still, the leather trim doesnt detract from a certain flaw in this idea – that you need strong will to use this product. You see, reconnecting with society is easy, just open the box and let the digital signals flood into your phone.
But you can resist that temptation, why not just put the phone on silent and keep it in the glove box? And if you cant resist, why isnt there are a time lock on this armrest? Your will may be easy to break, but a good padlock is not.
Look, texting and driving is bad – it leads to many fatal accidents. But Nissans solution is a placebo or just a marketing gimmick at best. A simple software solution may be better in this case, something like Samsungs S Bike – the Motion Lock feature wont let you answer a call if the phone detects youre driving.