Driving safety app seeks to end distracted driving

Software testing firm Applause is partnering with messageLOUD, the mobile text-reading service that reads messages and email aloud, to ensure that the service works under real-world conditions and keeps drivers who need to take incoming messages, safe.

Global crowd-sourced software testing

messageLOUD utilises software testers from Applause’s global community to ensure high-quality, accurate experiences in multiple countries around the world. For the launch, Applause provided program management and testers in specific locations across the USA, UK and South Africa. The testers used messageLOUD on their own smart phones, in their own vehicles, traveling on busy streets and highways to put the app through its paces and identify issues.

The companies will continue to work together on new builds and continuous releases of messageLOUD across new geographies.

Distracted driving is a serious threat to public safety

“By working with Applause, we have been able to make sure critical issues were found and resolved before release,” said Garin Toren, CEO of messageLOUD. Distracted driving kills thousands and injures more than half a million people each year in North America alone. Our mission at messageLOUD is to eliminate accidents and deaths due to smartphone usage while driving. And Applause can help us make sure our app works the way it is supposed to in the real world. Not in a QA lab, but in actual vehicles where our app can be the difference between life and death.”

Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Yet, at any given hour across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using smartphones while driving. Despite the fact that 45 states have made texting and emailing while driving illegal, it’s clear people are actively using their phones.

According to a distracted driving study conducted this year by the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, 70% of drivers admit they use their smartphones while they are driving. According to the study, 61% of people admit to texting and 33% read and send emails while they are behind the wheel.

messageLOUD is designed to combat this national, distracted driving pandemic with a singular focus on consumer safety. The service automatically reads texts and email out loud so people can put their phones down and drive safe while using an innovative technique for eyes-free response and interaction. messageLOUD uses the full screen on your smart phone as the user interface which allows only simple screen swipes (up, down, double-tap) to execute a concise set of interactions. Users can also set up auto responders and use settings to tailor which messages they want to be read out loud.

Additional 100 software bugs found prior to launch

Applause works with the messageLOUD QA team running weekly test sprints to ensure the app is problem-free. Applause was able to scale up the number of testers quickly in both the US and internationally in order to identify issues prior to launching the app. While the messageLOUD in-house team found over 80 bugs internally, the Applause testers put the app through its paces in the wild under real-world conditions and found an additional 100 bugs over a 6-week period, which enabled the messageLOUD team to address critical issues before its initial release on 14 December 2015.


Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.