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Want to Text and Walk and Still See Where You're Going? Apple Has a Patent for That. Apple has filed a patent for 'transparent texting.'

By Laura Entis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You may not be proud of it, but chances are, you've done it. Walk and text, that is. No judgment.

Life is all about tradeoffs and sometimes, the ability to let your friend know you lol'ed at their joke is more important than the ability to see where you're going, which can lead to some unfortunate collisions.

Luckily, Apple's on it.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company filed a patent for a "transparent based" texting system back in September 2012, which resurfaced last week with the U.S. Patent Trademark Office.

Related: Do You Text While Walking? This App Wants to Save Your Life.

It's pretty simple, really: The patent proposes that as you text, your phone's background will display video images of the ground in front of you, captured by your iPhone's rear-facing camera. The onscreen result would be offer the illusion of a transparent display with floating semi-transparent text bubbles.

It looks a little cumbersome, though. In order to text and see anything besides your feet, you can't hold your phone like a normal person; instead, have to awkwardly hold it up in front of your face and point it straight ahead.

While Apple is a little late to the game -- apps that provide a similar service already exist, including Type n Walk, which has been around since 2009 – it's easy to imagine that if "transparent texting" becomes a baked-in feature in the next iOS, a lot of people are going to start using it. (Meaning hoards of people will start texting like this).

Related: What Does WhatsApp's Win Mean For the Future of Texting?

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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