I have one word for people who use their mobile phones while crossing the street, but I would rather not say it here. Then again, you never know if there is an emergency which absolutely requires you to talk on your phone while walking. Let’s just say that whatever the situation may be, when you talk on your phone while on the road, you can be described as an inattentive pedestrian. The bane of motorists every where in the world.
Just in case you are “forced” to talk on your phone as you cross busy streets, there is an app that might just save your life. It is called WalkSafe, which is developed by the Smartphone Sensing Group of Dartmouth College and University of Bologna. Developers Tianyu Wang, Giuseppe Cardone, Antonio Corradi, Lorenzo Torresani, and Andrew T. Campbell have one question they wish to continuously answer with their work: How do we make smartphones even smarter?
I suppose that is a fair enough goal, but I cannot help but think that people ought to think of ways to make themselves smarter – or at least have more common sense – than thinking of how to make gadgets replace street smarts. In any case, the group has create WalkSafe so that pedestrians on their mobile phones can be warned of any approaching vehicles. Incoming cars can be detected as far as 50 meters away, and the phone vibrates (loudly) to signal the mobile phone user of the danger. Now it’s up to the user whether to pay attention to the warning signal or not.
Take a look at this demo video which shows how WalkSafe can potentially save your life. Or at least spare you from having to go to the hospital or simply being cussed at heavily by motorists.
WalkSafe can be downloaded from the Android Market for free. Unfortunately for iPhone users, we have to pay attention to the road conditions using our eyes and eyes alone.