Automotive
Buoy protects loved ones from texting temptation in the car

The Premise. Texting and driving is a scourge affecting us all. Few drivers haven’t been tempted by the opportunity to compose a text or check e-mail while sitting at an intersection or navigating down a road, despite increasing technological and legislative attempts to curb such dangerous behavior. Admirable as these attempts have been, they haven’t addressed the fundamental root of the problem: the phone being in the driver’s hands at all.

The Product. Buoy, a sleek dock that mounts to the dashboard of your vehicle, is looking to confront that problem head-on. Using a patented system of proximity sensors, either within a newly manufactured car or an already functioning car with a built in docking station, The product can always detect when the driver’s cell phone is in the car. After a set amount of time, an alarm sounds accompanied by a flashing light to urge the driver to place their phone back in its designated position in the dock. By applying the idea of using behavioral cues similar to seat belt alarms to influence driver actions, DNJ Innovations is looking to position itself as a necessity rather than just an option to major car manufacturers.

The Pitch. Their campaign video not only shows off the 3D-printed Buoy prototype, but the final retail model in all its sleek glory, too. It also clearly explains everything from the legal issues DNJ Innovations had in mind when constructing Buoy to its ultimate goal of getting it into every car manufactured. Their 50 day campaign funding goal of $110,000 will support a full scale production run in the immediate future.

The Perks. The expected retail price for Buoy will be $149.99, but the various perks DNJ Innovations is offering cuts that price down. There’s an early bird special that nets you a Buoy in black for $95 and another, more general perk that does the same for $115. You can choose a different colored Buoy for $125, with bulk options of five or 10 Buoys for $500 and $850. The ultimate perk at $10,000 grants you the opportunity to both meet and talk business with the developers.

The Potential. DNJ Innovations has hit the nail on the head with this idea by approaching it with the kind of thinking that makes the idea itself seem completely obvious after you’ve heard it. In an industry trending heavily towards voice control in the car as a solution to using cell phones while driving, DNJ Innovations has taken a step back to take a look at the problem from fresh angles with Buoy as its result. Both the level of safety Buoy provides along with its relative simplicity should prove extremely attractive to major car manufacturers, as there’s no worry about the potential licensing and/or software issues other, more complicated systems present.

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