« Heads Up » Google’s new alert feature warns you not to use your smartphone while walking
Thousands die in accidents due to typing while walking, which made Google think about the « Heads Up » alert service
Google is testing a feature that alerts Android smartphone users when they type text messages or browse while walking, to pay attention and monitor where they’re heading.
New and optional warnings have begun to appear experimentally for some Pixel phones through the Digital Wellbeing digital health service in Android, according to The Verge, but Google still has to clarify more about this version. It is likely that more phones with digital health service will soon include pedestrian warnings.
« If you’re walking while using your phone, get a notification to focus on what’s going on around you, » says heads up, and reminders include brief notifications with instructions such as « Heads Up », »watch your step, » « stay alert » and « search, » based on last year’s dismantling of the app.
It seems stupid for your phone to warn you not to use it while walking, but thousands of pedestrians die every year, according to reports published by Google 9to5Google, so the actual alarm that reminds people to be careful on the road won’t be bad compared to what a Japanese city has already banned the use of the phone while walking.
Warnings will be optional, as will other aspects of the digital health service, which also monitors the use of apps, and can help filter notifications to encourage people to stop checking their phones.
The trial version must be installed manually, so you won’t be surprised that notifications appear once your phone has been updated, and people may end up turning off the service to stop disturbing them when their phones start alerting when they’re sending text messages or writing on Twitter while walking.