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?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.