Researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Bologna have developed WalkSafe, an innovative app that’s designed to alert smartphone users when a car is near. In other words, “their Android app uses machine learning and image recognition that takes place right on your phone to alert you when you’re chatting your way right into an oncoming smash-up.” Video after the break.

The app uses the outward facing camera on a smartphone to help a pedestrian look both ways. Using vision algorithms built into the app, the system determines which way cars on the roadway are facing and whether or not they are moving, taking into account the tilt of the phone and varying light conditions to establish an accurate picture of the roadway. It then figures out if any approaching vehicle is a threat to the user.

[via PopSci]