CrashAlert is an app under development by Pourang Irani and Juan David Hincapié-Ramos at the University of Manitoba to provide a realistic solution to the ongoing dangers posed by walking and texting. Since users aren’t likely to pocket their devices, the system restores their peripheral vision through the use of a Kinect-like forward-looking depth camera that provides distance and location cues to obstacles in the user’s path.
Unlike existing apps WalkNText and TypenWalk, which are essentially see-through texting apps, CrashAlert displays a small slice of the depth camera’s image on the mobile’s screen and alerts users of obstacles immediately in front through a red alert prompting users to immediately stop or lift their heads.
No info on commercialization plans yet but it’s easy to see the market is ripe for the product.
Photo courtesy of Examiner.com.