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Safety feature for smartphones when crossing roads

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247165D
Publication Date: 2016-Aug-11
Document File: 3 page(s) / 154K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Usage of smartphones is ever increasing, and several articles and studies have shown that the use of a smartphone whilst walking in the street can be a danger to not only the user but also those around them given the reduced concentration of the user's surroundings. Such examples of the dangers can vary from just walking into someone up to walking out into a road without checking for oncoming traffic. This article details a method by which a smartphone/device can be used to detect oncoming curbs and threats to a person walking that isn't paying attention to their surroundings.

Such examples of the dangers can vary from just walking into someone up to walking out into a road without checking for oncoming traffic.

This disclosure seeks to improve the awareness of the user's surroundings as to reduce the risk of them hurting themselves and others around them.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Safety feature for smartphones when crossing roads

Usage of smartphones is ever increasing, and several articles and studies have shown that the use of a smartphone whilst walking in the street can be a danger to not only the user but also those around them given the reduced concentration of the user's surroundings. Such examples of the dangers can vary from just walking into someone up to walking out into a road without checking for oncoming traffic. This article details a method by which a smartphone/device can be used to detect oncoming curbs and threats to a person walking that isn't paying attention to their surroundings.

Such examples of the dangers can vary from just walking into someone up to

walking out into a road without checking for oncoming traffic.

    This disclosure seeks to improve the awareness of the user's surroundings as to reduce the risk of them hurting themselves and others around them.

    When a user is walking whilst using their smartphone the back-facing camera is traditionally pointing forwards in the direction of motion and tilted such that it

would be able see the user's path ahead over a reasonable distance.

    Conducting a quick test, we found that whilst walking, the phone tended to be held at about 20-30 degrees from the horizontal. Given this, the camera on a test smartphone could see about 5 feet ahead. This disclosure seeks to utilise that factor by using a combination of image analysis and gyroscopic data to work out whether the user is about to cross a road.

Advantages over known solutions

    Using this methodology would be more effective than the listed prior art because a known, existing, Android App requires the user to be holding the phone towards the direction of traffic whilst on a phone call, which on a two-way street

means it can only ever detect traffic coming from one of the directions, and the user

will also likely already be in the road at this point, which is arguably too late.

    It would improve upon the patent application, US20150222977, because this disclosure would solve the issue with mobile device usage whilst crossing the road, and not the issue of listening to music. With the mobile device held at the natural angle whilst in use, it would be very easy to determine that the user's attention is on

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the phone and not the road. An additional level of check could be done here by using eye tracking on any front-facing camera. The simple application of the prior art to headphones would not be as effective as it is perfectly possible for the user to check the on-coming traffic without the h...