Feeds

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Look up from your texts while walking? What is this, 1997?

Security for virtualized datacentres

Apple has applied for a patent for technology that will warn of oncoming dangers to users distracted by their text messages.

An application submitted by the company to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (rooted out by AppleInsider) describes a user interface that displays transparent text messages over a live video feed from the device's forward-facing camera.

Display design taken from the patent application

Your life-saving SMS patent

Thus, the tablet or handset can offer a view of what's ahead of the texter, allowing them to avoid anything they would otherwise crash into.

"The background within the text messaging session can continuously be a live and current video image of the view seen by the camera at any given moment," Apple's Stephen Payne wrote in the application.

"Consequently, the device's user is less likely to collide with or stumble over an object while participating in a text messaging session."

As with all patent application filings, we should note that this is only a proposed design from Apple and not necessarily a preview of upcoming features or technologies. Many such filings are never materialized in a prototype, let alone a commercial product. The document was also submitted in 2012, but published this week by the USPTO.

Still, this feature seems far more practical than other blueprints we've seen in the US patent officials' inbox. We can't help but wonder why someone hasn't already done this. Most of us have learned the hard way that staring at a mobile while walking can often end with in embarrassment, injury, or both.

A recent study of user kinesiology found that the mere act of looking down at a handheld device while walking changes a person's gait and decreases the ability to maintain a straight line while walking even when a collision is not imminent.

Until Apple can get this world-changing alert system onto the iPhone, it seems that the best way to avoid these hazards is to take the drastic but effective measure of not constantly staring at your phone and actually looking up to your surroundings while walking.

The future can't arrive soon enough. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.