Technology News Blog

11-year-old wins $20,000 for app that discourages texting while driving

Today in Tech

View photo

.

The app lets friends and family bark at you until you stop

Texting while driving isn't safe, and there have been plenty of examples this year alone of what can happen if you continue to do it. In an effort to promote its "It Can Wait" campaign against texting behind the wheel, AT&T held a hackathon earlier this month where programmers were tasked with creating a mobile app to discourage the practice. Now the company has picked Rode Dog, created 11-year-old Victoria Walker, as the winner and awarded her $20,000.

Walker worked on the app with David Grau, a designer from interactive agency WLDG who she met at the two-day event in Los Angeles. The sixth-grader came up with the concept for Rode Dog, which allows members of its users' "packs" to see if they're texting while driving and, if they are, send them annoying barking sounds until they stop. The concept was inspired by listening to her family's three dogs barking, something she said was enough to get anyone to stop what they were doing.

Walker and Grau are putting some of the money towards developing the app further, such as adding the option to purchase more animal sounds. They plan to launch it on the iPhone and Android devices this year and have set up a website where visitors can sign up for more information. Might we suggest that Walker also team up with fellow sixth-grade wunderkind Thomas Suarez, who last year gave a TEDTalk that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would have been proud of.

[Image credit: Texting while driving via Shutterstock]

This article was written by Randy Nelson and originally appeared on Tecca

More from Tecca:

View Comments