Texting while on the go could be about to get safer. If rumours are to be believed Apple experts are looking into technology that offers users an easier and safer way to text while walking. They have apparently created a transparent texting technology, which would overlay messages through the clever use of live video from the rear camera.
Meaning, users can reply to texts from friends and simultaneously check the pavement for obstacles from their smartphone’s screen.
According to reports, the technology giant had invented the transparent texting technology way back in 2012 and a patent for it was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in September of the same year. However, it was unearthed this week by technology journalists in America.
"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," according to the patent that was filed in September 2012.
The transparent texting technology would alter the mobile app's background to project live video images from the rear camera onto the device's screen, capacitating phone users to see any obstacles looming up on them and thereby reducing the chances of stumbling over or bumping into an object while texting.
In patent designs, the known white background to an iMessage chat is replaced by live video and the text bubbles will either become opaque or in some cases semi-opaque to allow greater visibility of the live background.
The transparent texting technology would be activated through an in-app button and could be used alongside with other apps like web browsers and eBooks, with text floating over the live background.
According to statistics surrounding the dangerous texting while driving, approximately 1,100 a year end up in hospital emergency rooms. This new patent could hopefully lessen the number of people hurting themselves. However, the safest bet would be to prompt users to look up rather than giving them a incessant video feed because users will need to point the iPhone camera straight ahead while walking for complete visibility.
While it is still unknown if this technology will make it to the market, perhaps the patent is a reflection of the shifting behaviour of mobile phone users. Apple's next software launch will be iOS 8, which is scheduled to be released in September, which will provide both iPhone and iPad devices technological updates.