I would sometimes catch myself walking around with my eyes on a phone screen, and I am far from being the only one who does it. This is why I think Google’s upcoming feature ‘Heads Up’ is something that can help us not get hit by a car on the road.
‘Heads Up’ will be a feature on Android phones which will remind you to look up every now and then. You will be able to find it in the Digital Wellbeing section. Once you’ve toggled the feature, you’d still need to “use it with caution” as “Heads Up doesn’t replace paying attention”.
In theory, it sounds absolutely unnecessary—why would I need an app to tell me to look up at my surroundings every once in a while? But in reality, it’s something that we can often forget to do.
Something like ‘Heads Up’ is needed especially if you’re an avid player of a game like ‘Pokemon Go‘—which can sometimes encourage you to walk around and catch Pokemon with the app. In 2017, there were even reports of “pedestrian inattention blindness” while playing Pokemon Go.
The feature will also be a good one to utilise on your kid’s smartphone. They might be more likely to ignore their surroundings to respond to text messages or scroll through social media, but of course this could also apply to adults.
‘Heads Up’ is not yet available to the public. However, it is expected to be released on Android “really soon”. A feature like this is not yet announced to iOS users, either.