Radar guns that detect texting coming soon?30
Reportedly, a text message emits a different type of signal, than a data transfer or a phone call, and ComSonics' device will be able to identify this signal. Much like radar guns are able to detect speed-limit violations, this new contraption will be able to tell when a phone inside a moving car is sending out text messages and help law enforcement officers identify texting and driving misdemeanors.
Now, we don't know about you, but we've got a plethora of questions. First of all, in the year 2014, many smartphones come with voice-controlled assistants which send texts for you. Secondly, there are a lot of 3rd party auto SMS apps, which auto-respond to unanswered calls when the phone owner is driving. How is a responsible driver who uses one of these supposed to explain themselves?
Third, if there are two or more passengers in the vehicle – would the device be able to tell which phone was sending the text? And even then – the driver could have handed their device to the passenger next to them, so the latter could type out a text on behalf of the former, no?
Fourth, and this is our favorite one, there are now messaging apps out there, such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat etc. that are all very popular texting tools among young users – users, which are, coincidentally, the demographic that is most prone to misbehave, when it comes to texting and driving. Thing is, these apps use the phone's data connection, rather than the good old SMS system, so they'd still remain invisible for ComSonics' device.
All in all, this looks like it may create more problems (for responsible drivers) than it's going to solve. “Texting” in today's world could mean a mixture of different activities – from updating your Facebook status, to adding a new caption to the Instagram pic of your lunch, to sending random smilies via Viber, all of which are dangerous activities for drivers to engage in and none of which will be detected by ComSonics' “texting radar”. On the other hand, people who use Siri, Cortana, Moto Voice, Google Now, or anything else to reply to a text might be in trouble. Dare we say – welcome to 2014, ComSonics?