Transparent Texting

Apple files a “Transparent Texting” Patent

Apple has filed a patent for a new technology that aims to make texting while walking safer by replacing the text background with a live video feed of the smartphone user’s path.

Manysmartphone users keep their eyes glued to the screens while texting and walking which can cause them to stumble over or bump into obstacles. Apple’s ‘transparent texting’ aims to solve this problem by overlaying messages over a live video feed from the rear camera of thesmartphone which will, in theory,  allow users to see what is happening beyond their phone and text at the same time.

Transparent Texting -- Patent
Patent courtesy: USPTO

“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 filed in the US above].

The patent describes how the transparency feature could be activated by pressing a transparency button within a texting session that switches on the video feed. The feature would then ensure text bubbles are overlaid over the live background video. The text bubbles themselves could be opaque or semi-transparent.

The patent, originally filed in September 2012, details potential extensions of the concept of transparent texting, including 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. “Alternative embodiments of the invention can be applied to virtually any computer-executable application in which text is presented over a background,” states the patent application.

Optimistically, texting in this way could allow users to see dangers ahead of them before its too late — all while not having to look up from their phones.Tranparent Texting

But here’s the twist — there already exists an app which came out in 2009 called ‘Type n Walk‘ and made waves for the same idea it seemed like it was kind of ridiculous at the time, and…well, it
still is.

Later on, similar apps appeared on Android. Yet, here we are, eyeing Apple’s latest filing [below] with the same idea.

A recently conducted study by researchers from the University at Buffalo in the US found that texting while walking may result in more injuries per mile than distracted driving. The study also found that though injuries from car accidents involving texting are often more severe, physical harm resulting from texting and walking occurs more frequently.

Source: USPTO, Press Trust of India(Washington)

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Shaminder Pal Singh

I am a student by day and tech blogger by night. I try to bring to the public the latest and greatest news from the tech world!

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