Apple's transparent texting app could bring an end to lamppost headbutts

Pesky bollards and small children could no longer be a health hazard if Apple's patent comes to fruition
Apple's transparent texting app patent could bring an end to unplanned lamppost

An Apple patent filed in 2012 has just appeared online, and it could bring a transparent background to iOS' Messaging app.

Spotted by AppleInsider, the patent describes how an iDevice's camera can be used to provide a live feed to the background of the Messaging app, creating a 'transparent screen' effect.

The idea behind it is to make walking and texting safer. If you've ever been caught out by a stray lamppost or small dog, you'll know how bruising (not to mention embarrassing) a stray collision can be.

A simple button tap could turn the feature on and off, and the overlaid text bubbles could be opaque or semi-transparent themselves for more visibility.

The patent also describes how the transparent mode could be applied to web pages and e-books, so users could carry on reading as they walk down the street, although it won't help much when it comes to crossing roads. Don't forget to look both ways, kids.

There have already been numerous apps which use the rear camera for transparent background, but Apple will be the first manufacturer to bake it into a device straight out of the box.

As with many patents it might never see the light of day, but it's certainly not the most ludicrous one we've seen.

Oh, and as for the cow, who's afraid of it and why? We honestly have no idea.

READ MORE: iOS 8 preview - features, release date, apps - everything we think we know

[USPTO via AppleInsider]