It has become a common sight seeing someone walk with his or her head down texting while he takes a stroll across the street. While this may look fancy, it has been a cause of several accidents in the past and continues to be in the present. Perhaps we could come out with a ‘Stop Texting and Walking’ campaign just like the ‘Stop Texting and Driving’ initiatives. However, Apple has a unique solution to this problem according to a US patent that was filed all the way back in 2012.
The tech giants have filed for a transparent texting solution where, just by click of a button, you could replace the background of your messaging window with the live feed of what is ahead of you from the rear camera. This is a pretty interesting solution as it allows you to text and walk along carefully as you can see through the app. The Chat bubbles themselves are being reported to have been made translucent for a uniform and seamless experience. However, as good as the solution sounds we have two major concerns with something like this.
The first being, using the text app in transparent mode will hog down a lot of battery. In our years of using the iPhone, we have always experienced battery going downhill the moment Camera Shutter is fired up. So a solution like this, especially when you are on a long walk could be detrimental to the battery of your device. We are also not sure if Flash would work in the app, which it should for night time scenarios, and that would take a massive chunk from the battery pie.
The second concern we have is that while texting we never have the phone at the eye level especially while walking, as the phone is more around the torso than in front of the face. This means that what would be visible from the video feed would be the path directly below and in front of you and not what’s coming your way. This would still make you vulnerable to a car coming towards you at speed or even a cycle for that matter unless of course Apple releases something like the swiveling camera of the N1 on its next iPhone which looks unlikely. What about someone coming from the sides?
So, as much as we really like the idea and would be interested in knowing how it develops, it is still sensible to make sure you do not text while walking and driving. After all, no amount of technology has been able to replace good old common sense.