Apple’s Latest Patent Aims To Protect Users Who Text While Walking


Texting while walking is dangerous. It may not be as dangerous as texting while driving, but you could still hurt yourself or someone else. Apple is looking to take the danger out of your preoccupying habit by creating a transparent texting system.

According to Apple Insider’s report on the patent application, the system uses an iPhone’s rear-facing camera to capture video and transform the background of an iPhone’s messaging system into a live-feed of the users’ surroundings. Imagine turning on your phone’s camera and then texting on top of the live display and you have the basic idea.

Of course, since oncoming cars, people, bikes, birds, and runaway pianos don’t usually pop out of the ground directly at your feet, users would have to point the phone upright and straight ahead to ensure full visibility

The camera can continuously capture and present the video images as the background in the text messaging session, so that the device’s user continuously can be aware of the environment beyond the device’s display while still focusing on the text messages being communicated. 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. Consequently, the device’s user is less likely to collide with or stumble over an object while participating in a text messaging session.

To activate the system users would simply select an in-app button to transform the regular white background into a live video.

The company says the system could also be used with other Apple apps like iBooks.

While we see the benefit of a transparent background, is it really necessary?

Sure that message might seem important, but if it were truly urgent wouldn’t you actually be talking on the phone? And in that case, you could actively watch where you’re walking.

And what about when you’re crossing the street? A car could be coming to your right, but the live feed would only show what’s directly ahead of you.

Wouldn’t it be more reasonable, and safer, to just put your phone down for a few minutes and get where you’re going?

It’s unclear when the new system will be available, but Apple Insider says the invention proves the company is looking for new ways to enhance the mobile experience….by taking over every waking moment of our lives.

Apple’s ‘transparent texting’ tech lets iPhone users safely message while moving [Apple Insider]

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  1. MathManv2point0 says:

    Am I crazy or isn’t there already an app out there that does this? Pretty sure I saw this done years ago.

    Also, it’s called a sidewalk, not a sidewall people. If you’re gonna text, step to the side. I have no problem with walking on a straight line and giving a little shoulder check to some texter who isn’t paying attention IF I am already as far to the right as I can safely go.

    Yes, I am a jerk when it come to this.

    • furiousd says:

      I enjoy being a jerk when people do this

      • MathManv2point0 says:

        The best is when they say (all flustered) “excuuuse me!” and I respond with (in a very polite voice), “oh no, you’re fine, I know you didn’t do it on purpose” and then I pause for second just to see them try to comprehend for a moment, and then I turn and keep going.