Texting on the go: How Manitoba developers aim to make it safer
Published Friday, September 6, 2013 12:47PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 7, 2013 10:51PM EDT
Tired of walking into street signs, fire hydrants and other pedestrians every time you two-thumb a text to your BFF while walking down the street?
A pair of developers from the University of Manitoba are seeking to put an end to senseless texting-and-walking accidents with a new app designed to help distracted walkers.
“People are actually having a lot of accidents worldwide,” developer Juan David Hincapie-Ramos told CTV Winnipeg on Thursday. “There have even been campaigns to get people not to text and walk.”
More than 1,150 pedestrians were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. in 2011, for example, for injuries suffered while walking and using a cellphone or other electronic device.
Hincapie-Ramos and his partner, Pourang Irani hope to curb the trend with Crash Alert.
The app scans objects up to two metres away using a special camera and warns distracted walkers with red, on-screen pop ups when they are on a collision course.
The developers are working with a company in Israel to make a phone that features their special camera embedded inside.
The software could then be installed or downloaded as an app.
Some municipalities across the U.S. – including Rexburg, Ohio and Fort Lee, New Jersey – have started issuing fines to walkers caught looking down at their phones when they’re on the go.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Karen Rocznik