Sixteen Candles – New "Hum" technology a teenage driver's "ultimate nightmare"
【Summary】Enter “Hum,” Verizon’s next generation automotive product that has been called “every teenager’s worst nightmare.” What is “Hum” and why is it important for your teenagers?
Sixteen Candles is one of the most beloved teen "coming of age" films in the history of Hollywood. The plot goes something like this: "The Geek," played by Anthony Michael Hall, is the most unpopular kid at his school. But once he gets a hold of a Rolls Royce, some Old Style beer and the blonde prom queen, his life takes a major – even mystical – turn for the better. Co-starring Molly Ringwald, John Cusack and a host of other major stars, Sixteen Candles is an American treasure. The film is ultimately family-oriented and focuses on believing in yourself and staying true to your own best nature as opposed to simply seeking to "be popular."
That said, the film also features "The Donger," an exchange student from Asia who crashes "Uncle Fred's" car into a "big lake." This archetype ballyhoo and runaway fun might seem innocent on the big screen. But in real life, it can be fatal – especially for teenagers just learning to drive.
Enter "Hum," Verizon's next generation automotive product that has been called "every teenager's worst nightmare." What is "Hum" and why is it important for your teenagers?
According to investigators who have reviewed "Hum":
"Hum, the aftermarket connected car add-on from Verizon, is about to get a little less friendly to the younger drivers in the household. An update rolling out later this month will enable geofencing and speed alert features, which are exactly what they sound like: a car's owner will be able to get notified on their phone when the vehicle leaves a pre-determined area or drives faster than a set speed. Basically, you can't street race or head to the mall when you say you're going to do homework, because Mom and Dad will know.
"Hum, which costs $14.99 per month, includes a module that plugs into a car's OBD port and a handsfree unit that can clip to a visor. Between the two — plus a smartphone app — the service offers vehicle health monitoring, roadside and emergency assistance, and stolen vehicle tracking. In addition to the location and speed alerts, this month's update will enable location tracking (a small expansion of stolen vehicle tracking) and a driving log, which measures travel times, engine idle times, and average speeds."
"The product competes in a growing market for add-on connected car systems, including competitors like Automatic and Vinli, both of which use the OBD port like Hum does. All are banking on slightly different business models and degrees of functionality, though: Automatic relies on your phone's cellular connection and has no monthly fee, while Hum has no upfront equipment charge. Vinli, meanwhile, runs $199.99 upfront plus a variable monthly fee — but offers an LTE connection and in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, which Hum does not."
How will "Hum" be received by teenagers? This is the proverbial $64,000 Question. Whether your teenagers are rebellious or dutiful and obedient, the fact remains that wild drunken rides on prom night – as depicted in Sixteen Candles – may soon be relegated to the dustbin of history. If so, this is a major victory for postmodern technology. And for that, we can only offer our thanks to Silicon Valley's erudite and talented software engineers (a.k.a. "The Geeks") so adroitly played by Anthony Michael Hall and John Cusack.
Anthony C. LoBaido is a journalist, ghostwriter and photographer. He has worked in 53 nations around the world – from Laos to Lebanon, from Belize to Botswana and from Nepal to Namibia. He also published a book on the Kurds. Some of LoBaido’s favorite stories include attending the British Army’s jungle warfare training in Central America, retracing Lawrence of Arabia’s World War I trek through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, investigating the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone as popularized in the Leonardo DiCaprio film by the same name, meeting “CNN hero” Aki Ra at one of his landmine digs in northern Cambodia, working with Time Magazine’s “Hero of Asia” Lek Chailert on her crusade to assist injured and abused elephants in Southeast Asia, rescuing HIV/Aids throw-away babies in the garbage dumps of Cape Town, South Africa, as well as visiting a leper colony in Myanmar. LoBaido’s articles have been cited by Ivy League universities such as Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. As a photographer, LoBaido made National Geographic in 2014.
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