CrashAlert is an app under development by Pourang Irani and Juan David Hincapié-Ramos at the University of Manitoba. They wanted to find a realistic solution to the ongoing dangers posed by walking and texting. Since phone users aren’t likely to pocket their devices, the system restores their peripheral vision through the use of a Kinect-like forward-looking depth camera to provide distance and location cues to obstacles in the user’s path.
… Unlike existing apps WalkNText and TypenWalk, which are essentially see-through texting apps, CrashAlert displays a small slice of the depth camera’s image on the mobile’s screen and alerts users of obstacles immediately in front through a red alert prompting users to immediately stop or lift their heads.
… No info on commercialization plans yet but it’s easy to see the market is ripe for the product.