back to article iPhone users to walk and read at same time

iPhone users can now walk the streets safe in the knowledge that upcoming letter boxes, errant children or dogshit can be easily avoided, without interrupting the more important act of reading email. Email 'N Walk is a genuine iPhone application, available for free from developers Phase2 Media, which displays the camera's view …


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  1. Andy

    You know, stupid as that is...'s actually a good idea.

  2. dracotrapnet
    Black Helicopters

    Had to laugh

    I had to laugh, then shared this like with the two iPhone users in the upper offices. One downloaded it right away. I ribbed him, told him to tell the head of Safety that he's now safety minded while emailing.

  3. Fred


    need i say more?

  4. Malcolm
    Thumb Up


    Now all it needs is an image-analysing lamp post detector and a multitude of accidents could be avoided.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But does it...

    ... teach them to walk and chew gum at the same time?

  6. Andy ORourke

    I wouldn't use it but......

    it seems like a great idea, the amount of knobs walking around texting and not watching where they are walking (it does work for texting to doesnt it? I couldnt be arsed to read the whole article!)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Simple Soloution

    I like it

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I've walked into a lampppost whilst emailing/texting before.

    Any plans to release this on Android?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's just what we need

    I already have to dodge absent minded people non stop during on my daily walk to and from the station. The ones who think they don't have to look where they're going and everyone will just clear a path for them. It would take the biscuit if these people were reading heir emails as well.

    Surely any email important enough to require immediate action is going to be inherently too important to deal with as you wonder down the street with your tongue hanging out your mouth.

  10. Matt

    i hate to say it....

    but i actually think thats a mildly sensible idea!!

    thats it.. i feel dirty now...

  11. Kanye West
    Thumb Up


    Can even look down on Paris doing something as well..

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you sure?

    I would have thought the last thing an iPhone user wanted to be exposed to would be the real world... I'm not sure if many could handle it. Too many pixels for starters!

  13. The Dorset Rambler

    Am I being slowly seduced?

    I'm not usually an early adopter of any sort of hardware, especially mobile phones.

    But the more I see of this, the more I want one....

    El Reg cynics, please cure me...

  14. Maria Helm

    other uses

    Now I won't miss an important play when watching the game just because I was distracted by my email.

    Now millions of teens can email AND babysit at the same time.

    How long until someone posts a picture of them using email-and-walk to view another iPhone using email-and-walk, viewing another iPhone using email-and-walk...etc...

    NOTICE, people, that it is NOT Email-and-DRIVE.

  15. Steven
    Thumb Down

    Angle of shot

    I don't hold my phone at a high enough angle for a camera viewing function to be worthwhile. It'd just show me a view of my feet, which surely defeats the purpose of the device.

    Nice demo image though - completely unrealistic fov, but nice to demonstrate it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's almost enough to make me want to buy an iPhone.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge


    There are iPhone users who can walk and chew bubblegum / email at the same time?

    Who knew?

    <Waits for inevitable flamefest>

  18. Tim Cook

    Oh come on

    I know you're not a fan Bill, but surely even you can see this is absolute genius?

  19. adnim

    "iPhone users to walk and read at same time"

    Thank evolution for an involuntary nervous system.

    I can't imagine an iPhone user walking, reading and breathing at the same time without one.

  20. SuperTim

    Field of view.

    Wouldnt you need to hold your iPhone about 4 inches from your nose to achieve a ful field of view? Any further and you could probably see all of the distractions anyway.

    At least it's free, as i doubt i would pay for it.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    This won't encourage people to drive and text? Just add a record function "you can see officer I was clearly in control whist's texting she just walked out in front of me!"

  22. Simon

    Don't encourage them!

    I hate people that do this, shuffling along staring into their phones.

    But this won't help when it comes to crossing the road, the image on the phone won't show them an image to the side of a large truck coming at them when they step off the pavement...

    Nothing worse than someone with head phones on staring into a hand held device stepping out in front of you, you sound your horn, slow down and they still ignore you.

    Well maybe people getting run over while using a phone can be a 21st century solution to thinning out the gene pools of stupid genes.

  23. Steve

    left and right

    Does it look left and right before stepping off the kerb?

  24. Mike Hams

    Battery Life

    It's going to go right down the pan. Push, 3G and Camera all woking at once.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    iPhone User's = iDiots ?

    If they really need that application, yes.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they can mash it up with Google Street View

    So you can see over walls which are too high, through people's windows when the curtains are drawn, etc.

    Maybe they could even build one with a rear view mirror, so you can walk slowly along with it held in front of your face and not worry that a pickpocket is rifling your rucksack. Although there never seemed to be a market for the 'Lonely Planet Guide to London' with a rear view mirror built into it, so it'll probably never happen.

  27. Nick Kew

    Will it work in the dark?

    Having injured my foot on an unseen step down (pavement-to-pavement) while activating the GPS/maps on my Nokia at FOSDEM, I can see the value of this.

    But that was in the dark of a February evening. Would the clever-iphone have helped?

  28. Renny McGregor
    Thumb Up

    Augmented Reality

    A very primitive form I suppose... but it's the 1st massmarket application I've seen. How soon before I can get iglasses?! Reach out into your field of view, make a gesture at an MP, and up pops a 50% transparent expense claim history over his/her head!

    All without bumping into a lampost :-)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Perv 'n email

    Surely the real use of this app is to be able to stare at the person opposite you on the train without being rumbled ? I see a big take up as the summer approaches and the skirts draw in...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the biggest downsides...

    of a keypad-less phone, is that you have to look at the screen in order to tap out messages. With a regular keypad it is relatively easy to touch type messages.

    Give it a couple of years and I might be able to touch type on the iphone keypad.

  31. Stephen Gazard

    Pedestrians are bad enough

    I'm thinking of those who walk out onto the street without looking while having an MP3 player playing loudly, or just mesmerised in their own thoughts. It's not fun to almost run them over.

    While I agree with the 'cool' and 'interesting' comments, I agree much more with the 'stop, look and write emails/messages' gist of comments. Otherwise, we might see a category on Darwin Awards for the most impressive way to get one while using an iphone

  32. Jon Pain
    Thumb Down

    This is rubbish

    You can type the subject & body of an email, but nothing else. You then have to go into mail to find the contact, and you can't read messages on it.

    Good bit of engineering, but failed by Apple's idiotic SDK.

  33. McFlurry

    Downloaded it straight away...

    ... and it's fantastic. Why didn't someone think of it before?! Would be nice to incorporate/feed it to the text app rather than just e-mail though.

  34. pctechxp

    lets hope

    users are subjected to a loop of Claude Von Stroke's "The Whistler" as featured in a T-mobile ad.

    Possibly the worst piece of electronica ever errr composed and what they deserve.

  35. Bassey

    What kind of mind....

    ...when faced with the problem of being unable to see where they are going whilst using a mobile phone, rather than coming to the conclusion of the intelligent majority (it's not safe to use a mobile whilst walking down the street so stop doing it and annoying the fuck out of all those people I keep bumping in to) actually thinks "Hey, I can switch the camera on and THEN I'll be able to see where I'm going".

    I'm still not sure whether he should be awarded or hung?

    Maybe we could hang a medal around his neck and THEN throttle him with it?

  36. richard
    Jobs Halo

    bright sunlight?

    would you be able to read white text with the bright background?

    let me guess, it analyses the background and changes the text colour dynamically?

  37. Bad Beaver

    RE: That's just what we need

    "I already have to dodge absent minded people non stop during on my daily walk to and from the station. The ones who think they don't have to look where they're going and everyone will just clear a path for them."

    If you have the corresponding physique you can afford to cancel that behavior. They may "think" that everyone will clear them a path. They could suddenly learn that they are wrong and BOOM they are on the floor. Then yell "DUDE, WATCH YOUR STEP!" right in their face so they do not even remotely get the idea that it might be your fault. Wouldn't do it if I was short or light, but that might also work if you put enough force into it. It is amazing how easily people are intimidated, especially when distracted.

    Otherwise, this software is quite a neat idea.

  38. Tony Hoyle

    How can it work?

    The iphone camera doesn't do video.. even in 3.0. So it's presumably taking a series of pictures.. and that means there's a significant lag between what you see on the screen and what's behind the phone - making it actually more dangerous, because you're getting a false idea.

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. Paul McConkey

    @ Bad Beaver



    Oh, sorry; I expect you're posting from the colonies. In Blighty I'm sure the correct term would be simply be "OI".

  41. Dark Ian


    Nice to see Kanye West posting here. Any chance of a Twitter feed, rudebwoy?

    Anyway, yes, this is surely a bad thing. It'll just encourage the drones to continue clogging up our pedestrian highways. Too many times I come across people blocking stairs and doorways, usually after they've ground to a halt. I make a point of brushing hastily past, causing them to momentarily wake up, blink hard and look around.

    Other zombies can be seen haphazardly shambling along the pavement, bouncing between lampposts and annoyed pedestrians, their mobile of choice (not usually an iphone though) apparently guiding them towards some kind of pre-defined fate (trip, smash and compo claim, probably).

    Actually, I have an iphone but won't be downloading this. I bought a Shuffle too because it's more convenient when on the bike/running/etc. Both are excellent for blocking out idle pedestrian chitchat, which is usually provided by overdressed A-list wannabe workbints bitching on about how Julie from accounts has no style, whilst carrying their own phone in a cocked hand, handbag suspended from the elbow, half-smoked fag smouldering away in the other claw.

    Out of the way, squares!

  42. Jon Pain

    @Tony Hoyle

    No lag at all, and no, it doesn't take pictures. The background of the app acts like the viewfinder of the camera (which is real-time).

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    get them used to it.

    This means you can meretriciously take videos of the cops beating people up and say you were just emailing your boss you are going to be late.

  44. Seán


    There just aren't enough reviews with the word dogshit in the first sentence. It's could be a very good idea which looks like bullshit, like the button on my dect phone base which allows me to find the handset, worthless until you use it. On the other hand it could thin out the herd of apple dupes which definitely is a good idea.

  45. Greg Adams

    What's the video of?

    Hold it wrong and it'll just be the palm of your hand.

  46. Tom Taylor-Duxbury


    Just simple & cool - can we have it for SMS!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Groovy Idea

    I like it and would certainly get it, but I've gotta ask the same question as above. Unless they are doing some very fast sampling from the camera I can't see how it's providing a live view.

  48. Franklin
    Thumb Up

    @Tony Hoyle

    "The iphone camera doesn't do video.. even in 3.0."

    But the camera's preview *is* video. It just can't *record* video. So it works quite nicely.

    This is actually quite an ingenious idea, and the first tentative step toward an immersive augmented reality. The idea of combining this with Google Maps or Google Street View is brilliant.

    I hate to say it, but I think the naysayers here lack...err, vision.

  49. LaeMi Qian

    24-inch perceptive bubble

    For a long time now I have noticed that more and more people just can't seem to perceive the world around them further than a short hand-reach from themselves anymore.

    Being able to bowl into them on the footpath is one of the few benefits of being quite overweight.

    Being short then makes the evil stare I give them even more withering.

    People who stop dead without warning in a crowded foot path are fun too. You just have to practice overriding the instinct to try and stop yourself.

    What we really need is some sort of large predatory animal with very short legs. Easy to avoid by paying attention, otherwise it might take a limb or two for lunch.

  50. ulf molin

    RE: How can it work?

    "The iphone camera doesn't do video.."

    Well, the iphone camera doesn't RECORD video, but as soon as you activate the camera it shows you live video. I imagine the developers "simply" overlay that live video with text.


  51. Anonymous Coward

    re: How can it work?

    There is a live preview on the camera - it just can't record the video. You should therefore be fine.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    How about

    Just putting the stupid thing in your pocket? Seriously people, would it kill you to not look at your stupid phone for a few minutes?

  53. Bad Beaver

    @ Paul McConkey

    From the continent, admittedly ;)

    Agreed, "OI!" is much more efficient, more... guttural. You do not even need the rest of the sentence if you put in enough repugnance. "DUDE!" might contribute to the confusion faktor though.

  54. The Voice of Reason

    Useful aid for muggers

    Nice. It should be a whole lot easier now if I wanted to nick one of those things. I just have to look out for some fool walking down the street holding one out in front of him, whilst oblivious to what's really going on around him.

    If they must do emails etc on the move, perhaps they should try speech recognition?

  55. Ascylto

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted 21:41 GMT

    I put my iPhone in my pocket and had a panic attack, fell to the floor and died and am texting you from beyond the grave.

    Neat, innit!

  56. Big Bear

    @Bad Beaver/Paul McConkey/LaeMi Qian

    "DUDE" is a great way to get their attention, or, if they are male, call them "Madame". I personally like dropping the shoulder, as my rugby coach taught me when I were a nipper...

    LaeMi - just step through them, followed up by a short, derogatory and rude comment about twunts "not f*cking stopping there you twat".

    Another pet hate - when couples decide that since they are couple they can walk hand in hand and take up the entire pavement.

    Yet another hate - in the Tube, idiots who decide that they have right of way because they are late for their train. Especially on the stairs. This also counts for the train network. Flicking their heel on the top step is also good on the stairs.

    Final hate (for now) - f*ckwits who think their tiny bit of wheeled luggage needs to be trailed at full extension behind them. Unfortunately, flicking these over can scratch the leather on the shoes. Hence the cheaper pair of shoes I wear to work...

  57. Simon

    iPhone record

    Well technically it **can** record video. Pretty well in fact. Its just that it comes in the form on a non-supported *cough* jail broken *cough* application. 30fps if IIRC after seeing on a mates iPhone...

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