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News Link • Technology: Software

Safe Texting While Walking? Soon, There May Be an App for That


The last time you saw someone walk into a lamppost while focusing intently on a smartphone, you probably thought, “That was dumb!” If you were Juan-David Hincapié-Ramos, though, you might have thought, “There should be an app for this.”

Hincapié-Ramos, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manitoba’s human-computer interaction lab in Winnipeg, Canada, is working on just that. Called CrashAlert, his system uses a depth-sensing camera to spot obstacles and pops up a warning on a smartphone screen before you smack into them, allowing you to safely navigate public spaces without taking your eyes from your handset. You might think the best solution would be to put your phone away, but Hincapié-Ramos says that isn’t realistic.

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