A car key that locks down your cellphone

Those kids today: yammering on their cellphones all day, and the texting. It's all fun and games until you start doing it while driving. Yeah, that would be a big no-no regardless of your age, though University of Utah researchers had teens in mind when they designed the Key2SafeDriving: a car key that locks up the driver's cellphone as soon as the key is extended from the fob.

It works like so: Once it's set up, as soon as the driver extends the key, the fob sends a signal to the phone via Bluetooth or RFID tech, disabling the phone from making calls or texting (and putting a big Stop sign on the screen, natch). Anyone calling or texting the phone will get an automated message (probably something like, "Can't talk — driving"), though calls will still get through if you use a hands-free device.

While still in the development stages, the tech could reach the market as early as next year, and the researchers estimate the cost at a reasonable $50 per key. Honestly, we can't find anything to complain about on this one, apart from the terrible name. It's a great idea, and not just for teens. Can anyone think of a reason this shouldn't be standard in all new cars?

University of Utah, via Engadget