When you’re walking down the street, chances are more than half the people you come across are looking at or reading their smartphones. Chances are you’re one of those too. And most likely, there will be tines when people will bump into you or worse when they’ll get into an accident because of that. Google’s Digital Wellbeing will reportedly remind you to pay attention to where you’re walking with a new Heads Up feature that may be coming soon to your devices.
According to an APK teardown by 9 to 5 Google, they’re seeing a new feature called “Heads Up” on the Digital Wellbeing app, version 1.0.342229637. The app will remind you to not use your phone while you’re walking. It’s a pretty simple new feature but can potentially be life-saving. In 2018 alone, more than six thousand pedestrians were killed in traffic incidents. It did not specifically say that they were looking at their phones when the accidents happened but pedestrian safety and self-regulation are always good things to support.
To be able to make this feature work, the app will need two permissions from your device: “location” and “physical activity”. Enabling location permission will let the app know if you’re in an outside area where it’s not that safe to walk around with your head lowered to your phone’s screen. The physical activity permission will tell the app that your’e walking with your phone in your hand.
Heads Up is an opt-in feature of course and if you choose to enable it on your device, you’ll get a notification reminding you to put your phone away if it has determined you might be at risk in getting involved in an accident. It can be one of these seven messages: Be careful. Stay focused. Look ahead. Look up. Stay alert. Watch out. Watch your step. Each warning will be paired with a “playfully related emoji”.
Since this is an APK teardown, we’re still not sure of course if this feature will make it out of the gate. It’s a pretty simple but important feature though, especially if you’re the type of person who constantly forgets that you’re supposed to put your phone away while walking.