When your music is pounding on the car stereo, it’s easy to wind up the spedometer. The Belgian auto safety group Ouders van Verongelukte Kinderen (Parents of Child Road Victims) engaged the agency Happiness Brussels to devise an iPhone app that builds on the intuitive link between musical beat and automotive speed, slowing down your music as the needle creeps up on the dial.
Of course, even when offered for free, the Slow Down app will be a tough sell; it’s unlikely that many of us will voluntarily download coercive measures, however gentle. (An ironic observation, given that most free apps are about one kind of coercion or another. As a MetaFilter user said recently, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.) Indeed, many of us might prefer an app that lets us slow down the music in the car behind us.
But the Slow Down app is a deft solution; it’s a reminder that augmented reality needn’t be solely about images; audio is perhaps even a more powerful way to transform environments.
It’s also interesting (and more than a little unsettling) to imagine similar measures hard-coded in car radios and other systems to [amazon link=”0300122233″ title=”nudge”] us towards safe and healthy behavior. Where are some other domains in which slowing music down (or speeding it up) might provide a gentle prod? And do such measures make you smile or freak you out? Feel free to brainstorm in comments.