It never fails. You're walking along, reading your emails, not looking where you're going, and then boom! You trip over the cat and land nose-first into his empty food bowl. Transparent Screen aims to prevent this type of misstep by letting you see through your camera while you're walking. Unfortunately, it can't fix your cat's passive aggressive behavior, but we're sure an app like that is in the works.

transparent1 transparent2 transparent3

We've seen apps like this before, usually designed for texting and walking only. This app's approach, however, is to make your entire Android experience translucent. As you can see in the screenshots above, no matter where you are in the OS, you'll be able to see through your rear-facing camera. You're able to adjust the transparency to your preferred visibility, though during our test runs, we found that app UIs change so much that picking just one transparency setting was very difficult. Some apps require more transparency than others to be useful.

You'll also want to set the video quality to the lowest settings, or mid-level at best. Our initial test using the highest resolution of 720x480 was so choppy that it was difficult to see anything. Even the app itself suggests using a lower video quality as the lag problem is apparently not something the developer is able to prevent. This isn't that much of a problem, though, as you only need the video feed to avoid collisions with people, vehicles, and that bloody cat, all of which you're able to see just fine on low-resolution video.

The alternative is putting your phone in your pocket while you walk, but there's just too much interesting stuff on the internet for that!

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Dan DeMarco

    This MAY be a slight battery drain. -.-

  • Souvik

    Given the way most people hold their phone while looking at it or texting as they walk by, they will only see the portion of the sidewalk/ground near their feet. This sounds more like a solution in the search of a problem.

    • Horse

      It's relatively simple to just hold your phone higher up. I usually do it anyway because you can see more out of your periphery.

  • hyperbolic

    If it wasn't THAT laggy...
    Even with my overclocked sgs2 1.6ghz it is extremely laggy.

  • Useless

    Sounds like a way to finally kill the RAZR Maxx's battery. Nice! I've been trying to figure out how to do that.

  • toshistation

    Even though this is a battery drain, it's still WAY cool. Brings us that much closer to the Stark Phone.

  • http://justreboot.wordpress.com Dei

    I don't care about the battery drain, this is one of those show-off apps, big time. Everybody I've shown it to has been blown away. Very, very cool stuff. Saved me a few lumps from doors, too!

  • sriracha

    so now your android can be horrible at two things at the same time. a poor Real Time Camera, and a poor UI.

    neat concept, just no way to execute it properly.

  • Chris

    But your still focused on what's not in the background so yeah you will probably miss people and cars but I'd argue you're unlikely to see the cat or other smaller objects

  • Pkmmte Xeleon

    This is actually really laggy on my Transformer Prime even at the lowest quality settings. =/

    • Chris

      It is laggy indeed, not very useful, but it is a cool app nevertheless. I would still use the Walk and Text app for text walking though, it has zero lag!

  • fep

    lowest setting very good @ optimus 2x, no laggy experience..

  • gatch

    Warning: do not use while watching a previously recorded video of the same street you're walking on. (unless you're intentionaly trying to change the past like denzel did in Deja Vu)

  • Zhonglin Liu

    now a new app is released, it is kind same with this app, but it include more features. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.july.freetransparentscreen