Sania Sania

Wearable Safety: Apple Patent Disables Wearables When It Detects the User Driving

Wearables can be distracting at times. Especially, when a person is driving. We saw it with the Google Glass, Snap Spectacles and even smartwatches. Apple just got a new patent that could place a limit on notifications on the Apple Watch in order to enhance driver safety.  Its aim is to identify if you’re sitting in the driver’s seat and then reduce distraction, it implies that we may be closer to a formula for preventing all of those dreadful accidents which take place because of people texting or checking notifications while driving. The patent was granted for helping wearable detect controllers in vehicles.

To sum up, the Apple Watch will use an in-built motion sensor which will help in detecting whether the person wearing the watch is driving the vehicle or not and if they are then the watch will segregate the specific set of notifications as well as filter the number of notification the driver will receive. The motion detectors generate information which will be useful for the system in identifying the devices angular velocity. So if it’s under a certain range then it would not do anything but it’s beyond that range then it will determine the direction of gravity along with determining the direction of gravity from the fellow device, probably an iPhone if it exists. After this it would ascertain if the angular velocity can be associated to turning steering wheel of the vehicle and if it succeeds in doing so then it will assist in minimising the notification coming to the wearable, this will help in restricting the attention of the driver  to the roads rather than the device. The solution may be useful for our smartphones too.


In the year 2014, in US itself over 3000 people were killed and over 400,000 were injured the reason being accidents due to drivers distraction. This is a major issue however this new patent can have an optimistic impact on diverted drivers because it will make them pay attention to the roads, all done by minimizing the cause to check the watch while driving.

Many supporters who were concerned about safety were longing for such a gadget which could restrict people who are driving from using them. It wasn’t that easy because limiting a devices feature just because it’s on high-speed could affect  some people who work while traveling by a bus or train maybe. Although the conclusion is yet not drawn, its performance and success level is still left to be figured out.