Automotive
DRIVE drives smartphone interaction with your hands on the wheel

It may be the case that more recent models of cars have integrated smartphone connectivity, but usually they’ve done it in uninspired ways that don’t take in account the unique issues driving brings to the table. It isn’t like the only thing to do is stick a touchscreen and a dock in the middle of everything and call the job done. There are very particular design challenges that stem from the fact that we’re in two ton metal boxes with wheels. Because of this, safety is of upmost concern even if it doesn’t quite seem like it is.

Luckily for RISE Devices, their new DRIVE shows that they have safety on the mind. Along with deftly handling phone calls with its three mics, DRIVE reads out notifications and messages and allows the user to respond utilizing their own voice when it’s convenient. Two infrared beams shoot out of the device and a flick with both hands interrupts them, giving you an easy and unobtrusive way to activate DRIVE. Because of how it works, there aren’t buttons not any janky voice recognition or commands to get in the way. Its companion app facilitates the use of most messaging services and platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows, and since it connects via Bluetooth LE, other uses like music control are possible.

This device is both elegant and simple, but for that you’ll have to pay. As much as it gets done, it could use a few more bells and whistles as it has lots of potential. The product has an estimated delivery date of July 2015 and is currently going for $149, shooting up to more than $199 after the campaign’s end. For DRVINE, $88,000 is the goal to launch it into production.