Faraday cage 'phonebox' to help you switch off from distractions and enjoy phone-free driving
The FOMO element of smartphone addiction has made checking our devices a reflex action whenever there's a couple of free seconds. Even if that happens to be while driving round the M25 (other motorways are available). Penalties for phone use have increased but according to RAC figures shared by Nissan illegal operation of handheld devices has soared from 8 per cent of drivers in 2014 to nearly a third in 2016.
Car manufacturers are constantly banging on about connectivity while trying to find safe ways for us to enjoy our phones on the move. But Nissan is rather going the other way, exploiting a British invention from the Victorian age to block phone signal and remove temptation to use it while on the move. A Faraday cage installed in the armrest of a Nissan Juke (called Signal Shield) blocks electromagnetic waves and creates a 'silent zone' that prevents all cellular, Bluetooth and wifi connections to the phone, giving you a digital detox as you drive. If you like the concept but aren't sold on the idea of driving a Juke, a drive into Wales can, of course, achieve the same effect. If you prefer to listen to the music stored on the phone, the user can still connect via USB. You can then restore the connection by opening the Signal Shield and wait for the unread texts and Whatsapp messages to pour in.
If you really can't bear the thought of disappearing from your social whirl while at the wheel Android Auto and Apple CarPlay offer the ability to dictate texts rather than tap them out with the phone on your lap. For those with more self discipline and the willingness to have that enforced by the Signal Shield's protective cocoon Nissan's idea may yet have appeal.
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