It seems that we need to project the reality of driving through the mobile device. Maybe talking to someone on the phone while they're driving should require you to watch a video feed of the road, and hear road noise. Then you'd avoid talking when something difficult was happening in the car. I've believed for awhile that VR technologies should be able putting two people in the same space (and in particular, not putting people in two bland but equivalent spaces), since it improves communication and interaction.
Interesting idea, Mike. I've been perplexed by cell phone distractions. David Strayer at U of Utah is the guru of the psychology of cell phone distractions. I don't know how crazy the idea is, but here's a thought. If your brain is used to binaural input and you've got split monaural inputs (road noise in one ear and cell phone in the other ear), is it possible your brain (lacking the usual psychoacoustic cues) winds up burning beaucoup extra cycles trying to sort things out and hence the major distraction? Seems to be a lot more distracting than that radio or talking to a passenger. Why?ReplyDelete
Another theory relates to "sidetones" -- landlines mix in some of your own mic'd noise into your ear, so you don't yell into your telephone. Of course, cell phones don't do this.
I heard it on NPR; it must be true.