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Logitech ZeroTouch handsfree system tested

  • New phone holder and app from Logitech
  • Uses voice recognition and motion sensor
  • Reduces the amount of distraction behind the wheel

If you spend a lot of time on the road during working hours, it’s quite likely you’ll accumulate a host of text messages and emails.

Replying while driving is obviously dangerous, and from 2017 comes with a £100 fine, plus six points on your licence. It’s simply not worth the risk.

While in-car Bluetooth systems work well for voice calls, they can’t help you look up directions to your next appointment or contact a customer. That’s where Logitech’s ZeroTouch smartphone mount comes in.

Magnetic holder secures your smartphone

In essence, ZeroTouch is an app that starts running when you stick your phone to a special, magnetic Logitech mount. There are two choices: one clips into an air vent, the other sticks onto the dash.

It announces any calls, texts, emails and messages from Whatsapp and Facebook. You can listen to them and then reply by speaking your message, with no need to look away from the road or press any buttons on the screen.

There is also a command screen, instigated by waving your hand near the phone’s proximity sensor. This allows you manually compose a message, make a phone call, listen to music on Spotify, or programme an address into your chosen navigation app.

How’s that different from Siri?

Logitech says that voice control apps are great outside your car but aren’t tailored to road use – so you still have to look at your phone or press a button on the screen, unlike ZeroTouch.

The tech company also reckons it cuts the amount of attention required to send a text to 0.3 seconds. This is much less than the five seconds it would take manually.

Vadim Kogan, Logitech’s head of partnerships for smartphone business, says: “Our mission is safety – texting and driving is an epidemic and we are trying to reduce that risk of your eyes leaving the road.”

Verdict

Tthe ideal solution would be to find a safe place to pull over before interacting with your smartphone in any way.

That said, the ZeroTouch system does remove the need to look and touch a phone or multimedia screen when programming sat-nav instructions, which in itself is very useful.

There is also merit in the ability to send a quick 10-word email rather than having to make a 10-minute voice call. For all of those reasons, we reckon the ZeroTouch is well worth a look.

Logitech ZeroTouch is available with mounts for your air vent (£49.99) or dashboard (£59.99) and requires Android OS 4.4. A version for iPhone should follow.