Essency has developed an app for iPhone and iPod touch users that could literally save lives.
Well, think of the times you’ve felt cut off from your surroundings by listening to music with a high-quality pair of headphones, and in particular, in-ear headphones.
They can be awesome at cutting out the noises around you, which is when they can potentially become very dangerous indeed.
The developer of the Awareness! told us of a number of deaths directly related to people wearing headphones and not being aware of what is happening around them. The Sun reported on this very problem recently.
Awareness! is an incredibly simple application that is designed to target people at risk, such as pedestrians, cyclists and drivers (although we think that any driver listening to music via headphones should probably relinquish their driving licence immediately and not consider this a solution).
Costing £1.79 as an introductory offer (rising to £2.99 from October 5th) on the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch, the app is coming soon to the iPad and Android.
The app simply uses the microphone on your phone or headphones to feed in sound from around you. You have full control on the ‘trigger point’ by volume level, so you can still filter out background noise and only hear the more important things like a car horn or an important safety announcement or alarm.
Future updates are planned that will turn down the volume of your music when someone comes to talk to you. Perhaps this will make it more acceptable to wear headphones in the office from now on…
We’ve been careful to only say it could save lives, and Essency has pointed out that it won’t stop you getting wiped out if you stroll in front of a truck. In fact, they also added: “Awareness! can help, but common sense is highly recommended, Darwin had a point.”