While we're seeing some solid solutions come to market that may potentially be saving lives on the deadly texting while driving front, Apple is working on tackling the far less serious (but truly annoying) texting while walking mishaps. The solution is being dubbed "transparent texting" and Apple has filed the patent this week.
If you're wondering what we're talking about you are undoubtedly one of the more serious offenders. Head down, glued to your smartphones' screen, engrossed in a text conversation and then....Wham! You've smacked right into someone or maybe gotten up close and personal with lamppost.
Apple explains in the patent that to enable a "transparent texting" system, they are proposing that an app's background be modified to display video images continuously captured by the iPhone's rear-facing camera. This technology is essentially combining the video camera and texting app into one feature as the text message appears over the live video feed in the background.
As has been the case with anything Apple-related of late, the assumption is this feature would be worked into the upcoming iOS 8 plan but Apple has not officially made that announcement.
While the statistics surrounding the dangerous texting while driving epidemic are far more grim, an Ohio State University study reported that the number of mobile device-related injuries (and the study is citing those injuries that required emergency room treatment) tripled between 2004 and 2010. Of course, a big reason for such a huge increase was the wild increase in the number of smartphones sold during the period, but the numbers are eye opening just the same. And the biggest offenders, you ask? Those between the ages of 16-25.
While transparent texting certainly helps address the symptom of just how distracted society has become with their smartphones, it isn't exactly addressing what has basically become a sickness for mobile device users.
And while transparent texting does not currently address the texting while driving issue, it is somewhat encouraging to know that Apple, among others, is actively investigating unique ways to address general distraction issues such as this that are now part of the smartphone culture.