[Update] Samsung Brings Road SMS for the Galaxy S, Intends to Make Texting While Walking Easier


[Update]: It appears Samsung actually targets this for pedestrians and not drivers. My apologies for reporting otherwise. With that, then I can say that this is a great idea! Still, guys, be careful while walking and using this app as crossing any streets should require your full attention.

If your state has already banned texting while you’re behind the wheel, then you shouldn’t even be reading this post. It’s quite dangerous, and I think that you shouldn’t do it even if there are no legal ramifications. If you are one to disregard that warning, then Samsung’s got something you should be looking for: Road SMS.


It’s quite simple: feed video from the device’s camera lens and throw an easily-accessible software keyboard on top of it. You’re essentially getting a simulated window to see through and text simultaneously, which should help bump up awareness while you’re typing out that message that you just can’t wait to send. With the Super AMOLED screen that the Samsung Galaxy S is packing, it’s probably a very cool experience, but you’d do the world a favor if you could just wait until you’ve parked your car.

If I haven’t successfully persuaded some of you to keep the phone out of your hand while the wheel should be (I’m just a regular old Oprah), then you can find the app in the Android market now (Galaxy S smartphone users only).

[via Android Community]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Cool Idea but I see a lawsuit in Samsungs future

  2. This might seem like a decent idea at first, but no. Just no.

    I understand making lives easier with voice commands such as those Ford Syncs. However, if you’re encouraging me to text and drive. I can’t support that. It’s just increasing the risks of an accident.

    And though I understand others might like it. I hope they will consider the safety of others as well as themselves. :).

  3. they should’ve called it walking sms or something like that and say it’s so you don’t walk into a lamp post etc while texting

  4. It LOOKS cool but I’m in total agreement. This should not be used for texting while driving; nor should it be promoted as such. In the UK even using a handsfree is discouraged and potentially falls under dangerous driving laws.

    I don’t drive and there are already enough negligent drivers just on my pedestrian route to work.

  5. Decent idea at first? No, it seems like an asinine idea at first, then, the more you think about it the worse it gets until you are faced with the conclusion that Samsung simply wants to kill off it’s entire customer base.

  6. ???? nobody said this app was to text when driving a car.

    This is supposed to be used when walking in the street…….

  7. I could see it if you’re stuck in stop and go traffic on the highway. Otherwise, don’t text and drive. Statistically, you will eventually end up hurting either yourself, your car, or worst of all, someone else.

  8. Yeah…. so I can “see through” the device… but I’m still focusing intently on the letters I’m trying to hit and making sure I don’t mis-spell words… same difference as not being able to see through a phone. Someday rather soon they’ll have an auto read-out feature and an auto talk-to-text reply feature, being hands free. We’re already pretty much there with the keyboard having the talk button… but until then, dangerous as hell…

  9. I think the idea (however horribly implemented it was) is that people ARE going to text and drive, we can’t stop that. So Samsung figures, if they are going to do it anyway, why not try make it safer by allowing the user to see the road. However the lag in the camera and the tunnel vision effect are probably more dangerous that normal texting while driving. I think Samsung’s morals were in the right place, but they came out in a horrific idea.

  10. “There’s an app for that.” I remember seeing an iPhone app which did this — about two or three years ago.

  11. Since the camera is always at one end, wouldn’t your hand be covering it up to begin with? Great, now I can see my fingers in the background while I text. Whoopee.

  12. Kewl App, not sure abt driving but it’ll be good for texting while walking along the streets without stepping on to anythin or fallin into any pits :p

  13. Sure I saw an app that did exactly this on the market weeks ago..

  14. The letters need some drop shadow, so they can still be seen even against bright backgrounds. That’s an easy fix.

  15. What they need to have is a completely voice operated text program that will read you back your text before it is sent. I don’t think this would be that hard to do on android.

  16. cause ya know….that won’t drain a battery or anything….

  17. Why cant people just call people anymore? I get more useless texts from people than spam these days. Between facebook, twitter, texting, emails and now I have to include mobile video conferencing? I am expected to waste a bunch of time typing, connecting to networks and waiting for tech problems or others stupidity, trying to accomplish the same task that an old rotary phone could accomplish in less time just as effectively, I hated those things more than I hated the pager I had when I was 15. I’m not a techno-phobe, obviously, or I wouldn’t be posting this, and I love all the stuff I can do between my LCDTV, Evo, X Box live, PC and Lap Top, but really if people are so inconsiderate of their own lives that they are going to text in traffic, or just while driving at all, when they could just as easily make a call and provide better info and no ridiculous spelling errors or short hand for me to decipher, what is the world coming too? How many lives would be saved if people would have just shelled out about $15 total for a cheap hands free dock and mic? Do we really need to encourage people that are stupid enough to text and drive that it is safer to text and drive with a tiny window in the backround? Or how about this, anybody with a pink or any kind of glitter phone case is not allowed to drive period, that would save more lives than making cell companies install something that made phones shut off when they are moving faster than 15 miles an hour.
    It should be the law that all teenage drivers have to have hands free installed in their car or we take their license from them until they turn 21, which is what the real driving age should be at this point anyway.

  18. I think they call that “completely voice operated” thing a PHONE…

  19. It still requires a person to hold the phone upright in front of their face – if you are holding it down all you’ll see is the sidewalk. It’s pretty awkward to hold the phone like that. It is a neat idea, but I don’t think it will catch on.

  20. i need that .apk…

  21. I prefer Road HEAD instead

  22. I think you need to post a barcode as well, I have the vibrant and its not showing up in the market

  23. texting while driving being dangerous is a myth… people should really get over it!

  24. cant find this app myself using my vibrant, ffffffuuuu

  25. Speech to text FTW

  26. Samsung does not encourage texting while driving. Have you seen the screen protectors when you open your phone package? It clearly says “Texting and driving, it can wait”

  27. I got a Vibrant today too and can’t find this anywhere in the Market….

  28. i think this app is a good idea, its very cool & i want it!!! ppl, we need not to dish the app because ppl are dumb enough to try it while driving. lol bash the dumb ppl that try to drive while using the app. i think the app is a great app if you use it properly!!! remember the person makes the final choice not the app, so dont bash a good app because a dumb person didnt uses a good app properly, lol….

  29. Does anyone actually read anymore. The app is not for texting while driving clearly stated in the article its for texting and walking. Quiet frankly this has to be one of the most clever programs to use. I text and walk all the time and can smack myself for not thinking of the idea first. I can see this idea being implemented in several apps already on the market for android. Im sure ill be texting using something similar on my slide soon enough. Thanks for the post good find.

  30. very cool!Samsung rocks!

  31. Haha awesome.

    One of my biggest peeves going from keypad to touch pad was that I couldn’t text during my commute, this app is great! :D

    Samsung rocks!

    Heaps of laws against phones and driving in Australia, but what the oinkers don’t know doesn’t hurt anybody, and I aint going to crash into anybody.

  32. @Delphi
    Whats the matter with you? A myth??? I see it almost everyday why do you think many states are putting forth this law? My buddy got clipped on his bike while some chick was texting…I guess it was a myth he was hit?

  33. This is one of the more stupid ideas of all time. Who would want to watch an epic movie on a little bitty screen? Spend that money, you idiots. Samsung will thank you all the way to the bank while you ruin your eyes. And to the idiot who says that the texting while driving dangers are a myth, I sincerely hope I don’t “run into you” on the freeway.

  34. HELP PLEASE :>
    I have the Vibrant and I’m reading that the Road SMS app says “it can be downloaded exclusively for the Galaxy S users from Samsung”
    Where do I access the Samsung exclusive apps from my Vibrant? Like, where is it buried in my phone menus? Help me please anyone?


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