Texting and walking at the same time. Doesn’t sound too hard. Actually, one in ten mobile users have had a mishap doing just that. A proposed solution is speech recognition, but surely common sense is better?
Walking into a lamppost or being run over while texting are apparently common accidents for hospitals these days. As many as one in ten Brits have come a cropper while texting their mates, according to research presented at the British Science Festival.
Tech expert Dr Joanna Lumsden claims that our brains just can’t cope with texting and moving at the same time. Often we’ll slow down, or even grind to a halt, to finish thumb tapping. Two teenage pedestrians are killed every day in London after not noticing traffic, many due to using their mobiles. Dr Lumsden’s solution – don’t text and walk at the same time.
Speech recognition for texting on the move
Which may be easier said than done. I’m not going to lie, I text on the move. But I’ll stop if I’m about to cross the road, and constantly look up to make sure I won’t walk into someone. An issue that won’t affect the pictured woman, who’s all on our lonesome in the woods.
Researchers are looking into creating software that’ll use gestures and speech to text, though there are already apps on Android mobiles and the iPhone that use speech. But in the end, talking to text is still going to be a distracting experience – you’ll be looking down at your phone to make sure everything’s written right.
Don’t update your Facebook status in the car
This move towards voice control lines up with a similar story, where drivers are trying to text or update their Facebook status. OnStar has just announced its development of speech recognition software to let drivers text while they’re on the road.
The question – do people really need to text or update Facebook in the car? Again, even using your voice is going to affect your concentration, and I already have enough vacant updates from my Facebook ‘friends’ without the need for ‘Just knocked over a deer. Lol’ to be added.
Pay attention when you’re walking and texting and don’t update when you’re driving the car. Simple?