Apple's Transparent Texting Aims To Prevent Falls

Apple has filed a new patent for transparent texting technology that will help users walk and text at the same time. Instead of having a normal background displayed on an iPhone while someone is walking, the background will be a live feed from the phone’s camera. By doing this, people can still pay at least some attention to where they are going.

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, – Apple patent

Apple's Transparent Texting Aims To Prevent FallsInstead of turning on automatically, Apple’s patent describes a setup where a transparency button would be included in Messages. Then, if someone is actually walking, they could press that button to turn on the live feed and change the way that the message bubbles are displayed.

According to early reporting by TechCrunch, the message bubbles would become either opaque or semi-transparent while in transparent mode.

Numerous studies have shown that people have a hard time walking correctly while texting. Many of the issues stem from the position that people must be in to see the screen, which means that the transparent texting feature would not help them. However, some of the danger does indeed come from people not knowing where they are going.

A study from the University of Buffalo has shown that accidents while texting and walking occur more frequently than texting and driving. Granted, if you walk down any street in the US, that is quite obvious.

Alternative embodiments of the invention can be applied to virtually any computer-executable application in which text is presented over a background, – Apple patent

As with all patents (especially ones from Apple) this feature may be years away, but it is still an interesting idea.

Question – Would you use the transparent texting feature if the iPhone included it?


Summary: An Apple patent reveals that company’s plans for transparent texting. The feature would replace the Messages background with a live camera feed. By doing this, people could see where they are going while texting and walking.

image credit: ctpost

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