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Mobile

iZUP app locks out texting while driving

We got a preview of an application, initially for Android and Windows phones, that will prevent you from texting while driving.

iZUP logo

Everyone knows that texting and driving will kill you. Well, maybe not, but initiatives to outlaw texting while operating motor vehicles stem from accidents due to mobile phone use. iZUP (eyes-up) is a new product we saw demoed at the CTIA Wireless conference (see all stories) that addresses this head-on.

The app springs to life after it detects that your phone is traveling at speeds over 5 miles per hour, after which point it all but locks down the screen. You won't be able to dial a number, launch an app, or even think about reading or composing an SMS. That's not to say there's no access at all. You can dial emergency, of course, and can select a few preapproved phone numbers and apps (just Google Maps for now) that you can launch in just a click or a tap. You'll manage these whitelisted numbers completely online.

While this is a ready solution for families with teenage drivers, and for corporations to enforce company policy on company phones, it must also be customizable to allow for different scenarios. In response, the iZUP team told us it's looking into such features as a passenger override, so that a non-driver can regain control of the phone.

We expect iZUP to launch in the beginning of November as a subscription plan--about $5 per month for a single user and about $50 for a yearlong subscription, and $6 per month for the whole family, with about a $60 per year plan.