Stop Looking at Your Phone or Nissan’s Gonna Turn This Car Around, Mister

A lockbox for chronic drive-and-texters

May 4, 2017 9:00 am

Last year, an English pub owner who’d become disgruntled with his patrons playing with their smartphones instead of knocking back pints used some technology from 1836 to help business.

What the owner of the Gin Tub, Steve Tyler, did was build an electromagnetic signal-blocking Faraday cage around his bar to prevent mobile phones from working in the establishment.

It appears Nissan is taking a page out of Tyler’s book as the British division of the Japanese firm invented a version of the Faraday cage called the Signal Shield that sits in the center armrest. A signal-blocking lockbox, the compartment cuts wireless communications to the device inside.

Freeing a device from the fortress of notification-less solitude is as easy as opening the lid and, for drivers who still want to listen to tunes or podcasts on their phone while it’s sealed up in the box, Nissan has hooked up the compartment with wired USB and auxiliary connections.

“This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less,” said Nissan Motor GB managing director Alex Smith. “Some drivers are immune to the activity of their smartphone, but for those who struggle to ignore the beeps and pings, this concept provides a simple solution in this very ‘connected’ world we live in.”

It’s too bad we’ve gotten to this point, but we have to admit this actually sounds like a good idea.  

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