This app uses Kinect technology to prevent you from running into things while texting

texting-1Good news for smartphone addicts who just can’t keep their eyes off the iPhone: There’s an app in development designed to alert you of oncoming traffic.

Juan Hincapié-Ramos, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manitoba’s, is working on early-stage development of an app called CrashAlert that uses a depth-sensing camera to alert you of oncoming objects.

Eventually, the idea is to have the app work in smartphones that feature cameras with the ability to detect surroundings. But for the prototype, Hincapie-Ramos attached a Microsoft Kinect on the back of a 7-inch Acer tablet to imitate the technology.

crashalertThe researcher had test subjects walk around while playing a mobile game on the tablet. Volunteers were instructed to get in the way to mimic potential collisions and CrashAlert would notify the subjects when impact was imminent.

In this research paper, Hincapie-Ramos noted that “CrashAlert induced simpler corrective actions (i.e. dodging and slowing down) to avert possible collisions, providing users additional time and space for other more complex corrections (i.e. heads-up and full stops), and thus leading to safer walking.”

Embedding Kinect technology in small places is actually a big part of Microsoft’s vision of the future. When we caught up with Microsoft’s Craig Mundie a few months ago, he held up his Surface tablet and said, “My dream is to get Kinect embedded into the bezel of something like this. Today, Kinect is half as big as this thing. But the physics, at least theoretically, might allow that to be done. So we’ll keep driving that.”

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft is making Kinect more perceptive, using big data and machine learning … Survey: Adults more likely to text while driving than teens

  • GG002

    Kind of a click-bait title.. makes it sound like just adding an app will prevent you from crashing, when in reality the app is irrelevant as long as a ginormous peripheral is hanging off the phone.

  • http://www.jasonyoungguy.wordpress.com/ Jason Y. Guy

    I’m sorry but this app would do nothing more than condone for people that are entirely dumb enough to text while walking and into traffic to begin with. I would never wish any harm on anyone physically, but maybe if a near hit would scare them enough to get their nose out of their phone and keep their eyes where they are walking, which would also prevent a possible accident and result in medical expenses and insurance expenses. People have got to start thinking with real common sense, and not depend on apps.