The patent, applied for back in 2012, details a feature that would capture the environment ahead of the user with the iPhone’s rear camera and display it on the screen while the user is texting.
A transparent video image of the environment ahead would be displayed in the background while the iMessage app runs in the foreground.
From the patent description:
A method of communicating, the method comprising: displaying, on a display on a front of a device, a background depicting a scene currently being viewed by a camera on the device; overlaying, on the background, a messaging application capable of sending and receiving messages, the messaging application occupying a first area of the background; wherein portions of the background on which the messaging application is overlaid are visible.
A very rough drawing was included of what this would look like:
Despite the name of the patent, this feature is reportedly not limited to just texting. I could also be used while browsing the web or reading a book using Apple’s iBooks.
It’s not known when this feature will become a part of Apple’s iOS, if ever, but it shows they are at least considering it.
Perhaps Apple realizes it’s futile to discourage smartphone owners from texting and walking, so Apple wants to be the first to offer a solution for users to do it safely. Would you like to see this feature included in the next version of iOS? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Featured Image Credit: Tyler Olson via Shutterstock