There was a time when Windows Phone was aimed at the consumer, epitomized by the announcement of Kids Corner, when Joe Belfiore brought his whole family on stage.
Possibly as a hold-over from that period we have just seen a newly published patent by Microsoft aimed at improving the safety of teen drivers.
The patent, for a Mobile Device (for) Safe Driving, would have the smartphone of a teen user spy on their driving habits, alert them when they are speeding or driving dangerously, more importantly send similar alerts to the parents of the teen and prevent the teens from using the device while driving.
Microsoft envisions different levels of allowed usage based on the experience of the driver, with level 1 not being allowed to use the phone at all, and level 2 for example being allowed to make phone calls hands-free.
Given Microsoft’s enterprise focus and the demise of Kids Corner I suspect we will not be seeing this innovation in handsets any time soon. What I would appreciate however is a driving interface for common apps such as Groove Music that does take into account the reality of people using their phones in cars rather than simply preventing use.
The full patent can be read here.