Apple’s ‘transparent texting’ tech lets iPhone users safely message while moving

Apple is looking into technology that offers users an easier, safer, way to text and walk by making an iPhone’s screen “transparent” during messaging operations through the clever use of live video.

To enable a “transparent texting” system, Apple proposes that an app’s background be modified to display video images continuously captured by an iPhone’s rear-facing camera, according to a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.

Due to their inherently mobile nature, smartphones are often used while moving. This is fine for voice calls, but could be problematic for operations that demand visual attention like reading or writing text messages. Aside from appearing antisocial, texting could potentially cause bodily harm if a user operates their device while walking.

If smartphones were to have a transparent display, or a system that offers the illusion of transparency, users would be more aware of their surroundings.

The implementation as described by Apple is quite simple. A device uses its rear-facing camera to continuously capture video and present the images as a background within a text messaging app currently being displayed. The onscreen result would be offer the illusion of a transparent display with floating text.

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