We are enhancing the KPN cellular network, enabling it to temporarily block all data- and voice communication to a smartphone, and developing a bicycle lock that acts as a binary switch. When the lock is open, all data- and voice communication to and from the child’s smartphone is temporarily blocked. Close the lock, and kids can freely use their smartphone again. This makes it easy to use for kids, without the need to learn any new habits in order to switch the functionality off or on. In case of an emergency, the alarm number is still reachable.
The Safe Lock connects to the Safe Lock app on the child’s phone via Bluetooth. When the bicycle is unlocked, it sends a signal to the app. The app then sends a signal to the KPN network, which will temporarily block all data and voice communication to and from the child’s smartphone. When the lock is closed again, a second signal is sent from the lock to the app, and the app notifies the KPN network to enable all data- and voice communication to the smartphone again.
The Safe Lock and app are currently being developed for Android as a first launching product. Development for the IoS app will commence next year after the Android launch.
The enhancement of the KPN cellular network will be completed by the end of November 2017. We will then start a pilot phase, during which we will test the Safe Lock together with a group of KPN members - both children and their parents. Learnings from this pilot will form the basis of our final stage of development. The launch of the Safe Lock is scheduled for early 2018.
The Safe Lock was first presented as a prototype in June 2017. Its introduction was widely reported by both national and international press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Verge, and reached over 180 million people worldwide. Our press release also issued an open invitation to telecom providers worldwide, to collaborate with us on the introduction of this solution around the globe. We believe that this innovation can be implemented in a wide range of transportation modes, including cars, and offers a powerful solution to a problem that will become increasingly urgent in the years to come. Especially among young drivers.
With the Safe Lock, KPN becomes the first telecom provider in the world to increase the traffic safety of its youngest users by temporarily blocking its cellular network. Smartphone-related accidents among kids riding their bicycle are rising fast in the Netherlands. But current options to stop smartphones from distracting them in traffic are limited. So we developed the Safe Lock, the bicycle lock that connects to the user’s smartphone and the KPN network, and temporarily blocks all data- and voice communication to and from the child’s device while cycling, dramatically increasing their safety in traffic.