While smartphones are able to multitask even during driving, all it takes is one small mistake to lead to potentially life-threatening consequences. The best option is to simply focus solely on the road, but for those who must have access to their email or texts while driving, Israeli startup Project RAY believes that they have a solution.
The device, called the RayGo, is notable for its simplicity. This bluetooth controller clips on to the steering wheel and allows the driver to use a number of popular apps through voice controls and through taps on the 5 keys. It works by connecting to a mounted, Android (for now) smartphone, the RayGo app for which switches compatible apps to ‘driver’ mode, making it easy to control them by voice. When the driver wishes to write an email or answer a text for example, he or she can listen to see who sent it and what the email contained and to then reply by voice or click to select some simple, pre-set options.
As it stands, the device is compatible with your text service, as well as apps like Pandora, Gmail, Viber, Line, Whatsapp, Skype, Spotify, and more. It can handle a variety of languages, as well, including Russian, French, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, English, German, Spanish, and others.
What is particularly cool about this device is that the startup says that it monitors speed and location, sensing when the driver needs to especially focus on the road and therefore holding back notifications, pausing playback of messages, and speaking more slowly. It does not matter whether the driver is right or left-handed, either, as the device can be clipped onto either side of the steering wheel and adjusts the orientation of the keys accordingly.
At an expected retail cost of $79, the device is a bit pricey, but will hardly break the bank. But, those who back the project now can get it for $55. Those hoping to get their hands on one will not have to wait too terribly long, as the company anticipates shipping in October. If, like many, you have an iPhone, you will need to wait until December.
In order to fund the project, the team at Project Ray has opted for an Indiegogo campaign. This team has chosen flexible funding, which means that they will receive the pledged funds, whether or not they end up reaching their goal. They have not reached it, but they are currently not far off, having raised over $27,000 from 330 backers. They still have another 9 days to reach their goal of $30,000, but they are not too far off. The Indiegogo campaign is not purely about funding, however, as the company has already taken home $750,000 through a seed round at the beginning of last year. Investors at that time included 2B Angels, Plus Ventures, and a group of private angels. Rather, the company says that they set out on this campaign in an effort to gauge public interest in the product.