Falling off a cliff is not that far-fetched of an idea if you’re texting while walking. This is exactly the kind of scenarios Apple is trying to prevent with the patent it filed for today.
Today, Apple’s patent portfolio became even larger, with the addition of transparent texting. The technology behind it isn’t complicated at all. The background of the iMessage app is replaced by a continuous video feed from the smartphone’s camera. Needless to say, this could help iPhone users avoid a lot of accidents, but Transparent Texting is not without downsides. Any additional task causes the battery to drain faster. All in all, this compromise might be worth it, considering the tragedies this technology could prevent.
Many of the accidents caused by a phone happen because the owner cannot focus on his path either because he is listening to music aloud, or because he is texting. In the first context, there’s not much to do about it, and people should pay more attention while crossing the street and even when just walking, if they listen to music while walking. Apple’s patent offers a solution to the second problem, though, and it should be mentioned that this solution isn’t particularly new.
The iSheep will argue that Apple came with yet another innovative idea, while all the other tech giants lack imagination and are way behind the Cupertino company. And they’d be wrong again. The app Type n Walk, which was launched back in 2009, did exactly the same thing as Apple’s Transparent Texting, but you guessed it, the developer of this app didn’t have a patent for that. A clip of how the app works is available below.
There is also the possibility of patenting a technology and never implementing it in any products, just so that others don’t use it. If, by any chance, Apple decides to include this among the features of iMessage, I just hope that the bright minds who will be using it don’t text while driving, assuming that there aren’t any dangers if the background of the messages is transparent.
It remains to be seen what attitude Apple will adopt towards the app developers that already use this technology in their products.
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