On the Move Android Widget Lets Texters Know Youre Driving Or Busy; Handles Replies For You So You Dont Have To
Bloomington, Ill. (August 19, 2010) – On Monday, August 23rd, State Farm Insurance Company will release the insurance industrys first Android widget aimed at combating the problem of distracted driving. The new On the Move widget allows Android smartphone users to compose and preload customized messages that can be sent as automated responses to incoming text messages. With the service, instead of reading and responding to text messages while driving or otherwise occupied, smartphone users can activate the service and let the widget respond for them. The service is free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farms updated Pocket Agent® for Android application.
It is our hope that this widget will prevent crashes and save lives, said Laurette Stiles, Strategic Resources vice president at State Farm. This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel. We wanted to make this widget available free-of-charge as just one of the ways were working to keep our roadways safe for drivers.
The National Safety Council estimates that 200,000 crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. State Farm is a leader in research and programs aimed at preventing distracted driving and other forms of dangerous driving.
With the service, Android owners can create their own responses and save them to a library for future use. The service works with all incoming texts, or can be limited to senders listed in the users smartphone address book. Activating the service prior to driving is just one way to use the widget. Smartphone users also can use the service while in class, at the gym or in a movie.
On the Move users simply activate the auto-response function by turning on the widget and composing or selecting auto-response messages. Incoming text messages are still received and can be accessed in the users inbox at any time.
On the Move joins an array of other automated text-response applications available to manage how people respond to text messages when they are otherwise occupied. This is the first offered from an insurance company, and it is free.
On the Move is the newest product from State Farms Employee Innovation Challenge, a program that sourced input and ideas from thousands of employees. Final market development and deployment was accomplished through a partnership between the companys business and information technology departments.
Its amazing what can rise to the surface when you unleash the collective power of thousands of employees, said Susan Hood, Claims vice president at State Farm. So often our people are required to pick up the pieces in the wake of a car crash. This type of innovation helps us prevent such tragedies from happening in the first place.
The service is the latest addition to the State Farm suite of mobile tools, which includes Steer Clear, mobile banking, and Pocket Agent®.
It will be available on August 23rd via the Android Market. On the Move is compatible with Android OS 1.5 and higher. Upon updating State Farm Pocket Agent®, Android users will be able to access On the Move through a widget available on smartphone home screens.
The service is not available at this time on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile phone or iPhones but the State Farm development team is currently evaluating options beyond the Android offering.
View video of the On the Move widget in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xtjzO0-Hfw
Vicki Harper, State Farm Public Affairs, (309) 766-9743.
Ellen Hudson, Weber Shandwick, (952) 346-6089.
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and more than 67,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – almost 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.