Medicinal castor oil, penny-farthing bicycles, public spittoons - these are just a small selection of ‘ideas’ from yesteryear that don’t really fit the mould in 2017.
But Nissan believes there’s merit to some ideas from our past, reviving a 180-year-old invention to tackle a very 21st century problem.
Using conductive metals, English scientist Michael Faraday invented the Faraday cage as a device to block electromagnetic fields.
For the 2017 version, a driver places their phone in the centre armrest - housed in a Nissan Juke, in this instance - and the phone’s cellular signal, WiFi and Bluetooth functions are all blocked.
As a result, the phone will not receive text messages, phone calls or social media updates, leaving the driver with very few reasons to touch it.
To overcome the now-blocked music streaming abilities, the armrest contains USB and auxiliary inputs to ensure one’s playlist is still accessible through the car’s audio system.
In presenting the concept as a road safety initiative, Nissan says its own research concluded that one in five UK drivers is sending text messages while driving.
Nissan also cites Britain’s RAC, which says the number of respondents to a survey who admitted to handling their phone in any way while driving has risen from eight percent in 2014 to 31 percent last year.
The concept is called the Nissan Signal Shield, but a mass rollout may not be on the cards just yet.
Besides the safety angle, Nissan says the Signal Shield can also give drivers a ‘digital detox’ while underway - providing the perfect excuse for some phone-free time.
Even with a Signal Shield in your new Nissan, the carmaker reminds customers that Bluetooth and NissanConnect are available for those who prefer to stay safely connected while driving.
And for those who may need to reconnect with the outside world while using Signal Shield, simply lifting the lid will see the phone revert to connected status, including Bluetooth.
MORE: Mobile Phone ‘Simplicity’ Proposed As Next Step For Safety By NHTSA
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