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Dutch bike lock disables smartphones while on the move

Staff Writer |
To keep cyclists focused on the road, Dutch telecom company KPM has teamed up with the Dutch Traffic Safety Association to develop a smart bike lock that disables the rider's phone while on the move.

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The Smart Bike Lock currently being put to the test in Holland is a direct response to research suggesting that 20 percent of all bicycle accidents involving children are caused by smartphone use.

The research, conducted by Alpha.One, also said buzzing and vibrations caused by notifications make it harder for children to focus on traffic.

Rather than working with a regular key, the Smart Bike Lock connects to smartphones wirelessly via Bluetooth, and operates through an Android App.

When it's locked, the app lets the phone operate as normal, but when the user unlocks their bike, the app sends a signal to the network and KPN will actively block calls and data until the bike is locked up again.

The network will still allow outgoing calls to emergency services, through.

It's worth bearing in mind, this is a different type of lock to the ones popular in the U.S. or Australia.

Because bikes are the primary mode of transport for a huge number of people in European cities, they will often have a lock integrated into the rear forks.

When it's closed, a bar slips between the spokes and stops the rear wheels turning. The lock doesn't detach, which means it must be unlocked for the bike to move.


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