Apple’s latest patent is very un-Apple.

The company today filed a patent for ‘transparent texting,’ a feature that could allow iMessage users to safely walk around while texting, reports AppleInsider. The tech behind the patent is simple: A live video feed from the iPhone’s built-in camera serves as the background for text messages, thus creating the feeling that you’re typing on a transparent screen.

Optimistically, texting in this way could allow users to see dangers ahead of them before its too late — all while not having to look up from their phones.

Too bad there’s already an app for that.

Back in 2009, an app by the name of Type n Walk [below] made waves for the exact same idea. It was kind of ridiculous at the time, and…well, still is.

Later on, similar apps appeared on Android. Yet, here we are, eyeing Apple’s latest filing [below] with the same idea.


Of course, just because an idea is patented doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Often, patents are simply defensive acts and don’t reveal actual plans that will go into production.

But this is Apple, and despite all its billions, the company ended up patenting an unimaginative idea five years too late. To Apple’s credit, it first filed this concept in 2012.