If someone you know can't talk (or text), walk and chew gum at the same time without putting his or her life in danger or if they were just never taught to look both ways before crossing the street, here is the app for them. The WalkSafe app for Android phones helps makes sure distracted walkers don't get slammed by an oncoming vehicle by letting them know what's coming.
Popular Science has more on the app:
The app uses the outward facing camera on a smartphone to help a pedestrian look both ways (or at least one way). Using vision algorithms built into the app, the system determines which way cars on the roadway are facing and whether or not they are moving, taking into account the tilt of the phone and varying light conditions to establish an accurate picture of the roadway. It then figures out if any approaching vehicle is a threat to the user.
WalkSafe, as the app is known, can detect cars moving 30 miles per hour at more than 160 feet, notifying the unwary user via auditory and vibrating alerts that in addition to whatever bad news his/her mom/girlfriend/boyfriend/lawyer is dishing out via the phone line, he or she is also about to be struck down mid-stride.
Watch how the WalkSafe app works:
This probably won't prevent walkers from running into stationary objects such as fountains or manholes. Nor does it get rid of the fact that many cities are imposing fines on people caught walking across the street while texting.