Some manufacturers are bringing smartphone controls to the dashboard in order to prevent distracted driving, but accessory manufacturer Scosche is going in a different direction with CellControl, a device that disables many smartphone functions when you're in the car. The system consists of a specialized mobile app and a trigger dongle that plugs into your car's OBD-II interface. After registration and set-up are complete, the trigger sends a Bluetooth signal to your phone whenever the vehicle is in motion, automatically turning off email, texting, web browser, and app capabilities. Access to your device's music library is still allowed, as is calling — assuming you're using a hands-free headset, of course.
The OBD-II interface is standard equipment on any car sold in the United States from 1996 and onward, and Scosche claims the CellControl works with over 1,200 phones. Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian are among the supported operating systems, though iOS and Windows Phone are notably absent. The system obviously requires a certain amount of forethought — and simply not using your smartphone in the car would be a free alternative — but it's a clever option for parents looking to prevent their children from texting while driving (the CellControl will even alert an administrator if the device is removed or tampered with). Scosche has a full list of supported phone manufacturers available on its website, or you can buy the device right away for $129.95. The trigger is also available for $24.95 — as long as you don't mind adding a $7.95 per month subscription fee.