Apple applies patent on ‘transparent texting’ to make texting while walking safer

By on



Good news! Texting while walking would be a little secure if rumors were true that Apple has filed a patent for ?transparent texting? technology that aims to make texting while walking safer by overlaying messages on a live video feed from the rear camera of the smartphone.

This new ?transparent texting? technology will allow users to see what is happening around them and text at the same time. Meaning, there will be less bumping into obstacles and less stumble over things while the users have their eyes glued to the screens while texting and walking.

According to the patent filed in the US, “A user who is walking while participating in a text messaging session may inadvertently collide with or stumble over objects in his path because his attention was focused on his device’s display instead of the path that he was traversing.”

Moreover, reports said that a 2012 patent application by Apple titled ?Transparent Texting? was made public by the United States Patent and Trademark Office March 27. The patent also detailed potential extensions of the concept of transparent texting in web pages of the internet by replacing the background of a webpage with a live video feed, so that the text of a website is overlaid over whatever environments the device user is moving through. Reports also said that the patent application stated that ?alternative embodiments of the invention can be applied to virtually any computer-executable application in which text is presented over a background.

Furthermore, the patent ?transparent texting? describes how the transparency feature would be available and could be activated simply by pressing a transparency button within a texting session that switches on the video feed. By this the text bubbles will appear overlaid over the live background video.

Said patent could be related to the study by researchers from University at Buffalo in the US which found out that texting while walking may result in more injuries per mile than distracted driving.

The research said:

?When texting, you?re not as in control with the complex actions of walking,? says Jehle, MD, who is also an attending physician at Erie County Medical Center, a regional trauma center in Western New York. ?While talking on the phone is a distraction, texting is much more dangerous because you can?t see the path in front of you.?

Though injuries from car accidents involving texting are often more severe, physical harm resulting from texting and walking occurs more frequently, Jehle says.

Moreover, the researchers from University at Buffalo suggested:

Laws discouraging texting and walking have been written up, but are strongly voted down, says Jehle. His suggestion: mobile applications that text via voice command or use the phone’s camera to display the approaching streetscape while pedestrians text.

Although Jehle prefers that pedestrians keep their eyes off of their phones until they reach their destination, he says the apps are better than nothing at all.

?Transparent texting? ?can continuously capture and present video images as a background within a text messaging session … Consequently, the device?s user is less likely to collide with or stumble over an object while participating in a text messaging session,? the U.S. patent application filed way back Sept. 26, 2012 by Stephen T. Payne on behalf of Apple stated.

About the author

To Top