bSafeMobile Product Review UPDATE II (posted by breezerunner)
So, as a holder of a large number of shares, I felt it made sense to test the product. I purchased two bSafeMobile beacons and downloaded the app. I've run it now for several days (NOW for a full month) and here is my report.
BSAFEMOBILE APP & BEACON PHOTOS
Photos of product and screenshots
First impression…whew…sigh of relief. Not that I ever doubted, but very real and legit. Professional packaging and good instructions. Easy to plug in the OBD beacon. My vehicle is a 2015, did not test on older vehicles. Have now tested it in a BMW x5 and it worked perfectly.
Downloaded the app on a Samsung galaxy 7 android OS. AND on Samsung S6
The app basically allows for an administrator to run the show. You can then send out ‘invites’ to email addresses and add ‘family’ members to the group. You set what kind of notifications you’d like to receive and what email addresses will receive them. So, you end up with a list of ‘drivers’ that you manage. Or you can be the sole driver and self-administer. I can see that this app is targeted towards the family of drivers, but could be used for any ‘group’. You will receive reports on the drivers to see how often they call, text, tamper with the app.
Once the app was downloaded and the beacon plugged in, I was able to pair the device. It immediately saw the beacon in Bluetooth and connected as an ‘input device’. I didn’t have to do anything other than click on the ‘beacon’ in my Bluetooth settings. My phone still stayed paired with my vehicle for both phone and audio (which uses uconnect – a Toyota).
Once paired, every time I drove the vehicle, when I reached about 10mph (varies, seems to be more about context engine connection time than vehicle speed) my phone screen displayed the ‘curtain screen’, which is the safe mode. I was not able to do much of anything on the phone. I tried closing the app while driving, but before I could text or try anything, the safe mode curtain popped back up with a warning that driving and texting was unsafe.
There are ways to override. I can click on a button that says ‘Passenger’ and pretend I’m a passenger. I can unpair the phone.
All the ‘tampers’ and activity is recorded, however, and updates the day’s driving in the app. So, first day I had 2 tampers, 2 texts from the vehicle and 3 calls reported.
Tamper includes several detailed events... fiddle (which I believe was simply picking up the phone - had a bunch of these), home screen button pressed, handsfree disconnected, maybe others. All the negative events go against the driver score.
The phone connection with the vehicle was never broken. I could start my music before driving, change music while stopped. I could make calls handsfree and basically perform any functions that my handsfree is setup to do.
If you use your phone for nav, you would have to unpair the beacon for that trip. Discovered this is not true.
UPDATE: I tested nav while running the app. Before driving, loaded google map/nav for directions. Once driving, the Safe Curtain Screen popped up, but I was able to toggle between the map screen and the bSafe curtain screen using the recent apps button on Samsung Galaxy S7. Using nav did not hurt my 'driver score' and didn't count as a tamper.
Bottom line, you are unable to text or email while driving. You are free to do anything while stopped. Several times I tried to text while at a light. Once I started driving and speed got up to 10mph or so, it jumped to curtain screen safe mode...no more texting. Those who texted me while I was driving received an automated message informing them I was driving and would reply later (similar to some vehicle pairing settings), but also included a Cogosense logo and link to Cogosense. Good advertising opportunity without being in-your-face annoying. Can't figure out how to turn off my phones auto-reply that I previously setup when pairing my phone with u-connect in vehicle. So now I've been sending two auto replies to texts.
I also tested out their support by sending an email that I needed help installing and setting up app. Within an hour, I received a reply from firstname.lastname@example.org offering help. Not immediate, but not bad. There is also email@example.com
My takeaway was that I plan to leave it setup in my car and put the other in my wife's car. Didn’t impede me at all…forced me to use handsfree when previously I would pick up the phone out of habit.
The app seems very focused on driver score and reporting on driver behavior. Website says that it also monitors hard braking, speeding and excessive acceleration, but I had no warnings for those...didn't make any effort to though...that'll be another day of testing.
Very easy to shut down app by clicking 'PASSENGER' and 'CONFIRM'. Two clicks. BUT...this notified the admin of the event and effected by driver score.
I also made use of the END OF DRIVE feature to trick app. When the vehicle is stopped for a period of time, the app changes to END OF DRIVE? and can click to stop app. Then if you start driving again shortly after, the app will report this event and effect driver score. Again...it is possible to shut down, but its all about reporting and scoring driver safety rating.
What do I think about it? I think that this app/beacon is going to save a LOT of lives and that shareholders are going to make a LOT of money. Breathe easy longs....it's the real deal! $$$$$