You’d be forgiven for thinking this was an April Fools joke, but Apple filed a trademark last Thursday (27 March) to allow videos taken in real time from the rear-facing camera on the device be displayed on the screen so that users can text while walking.
The trademark states: “Mobile device users who are currently engaged in a text messaging session can find themselves in a rather unique predicament. Because they are using mobile devices, those users often will be in motion. For example, it is common, even if not entirely safe, for a mobile device user to engage in a text messaging session while he is concurrently walking.
“Due to the visual nature of a text messaging session, such a user often will find it difficult to divide his attention between his device's display and his environmental surroundings. 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.
“Even if a user remains stationary while participating in a text messaging session, that user may expose himself to some amount of danger or potential embarrassment if he is so engaged in his device's display that he becomes oblivious to changes in his surrounding environment.”
Apple suggests the background within the text messaging session can continuously be a live and current video image of the view seen by the camera at any given moment, and that the text bubbles containing the text messages can also be transparent or semi-transparent, so users can see what is going on.
Alternatively, people could watch where they walk.