Whether you’re playing Pokémon Go, sending an email, replying to a text or just checking your game’s score online- burying your nose in your cell can have extremely serious consequences.
Büro North- a design company- might have a solution to this problem. They have created (in concept for now) a street tile that alerts the people using their phones when it is safe or unsafe to cross a road. Smart Tactile Paving, in simple terms is like a street light specifically made for phone users.
How is it specific for them? Well, it uses the same traffic lights red- yellow- green system but are placed at your feet and those with their heads down can easily see the tiles and the colors. You can view it with your peripheral vision without the need to look up from your smartphone at the crossing.
“When the Pokémon craze hit Melbourne, the number of people wandering across the road looking at their phones was pretty startling,” the firm’s director, Soren Luckins said. “The pedestrian crossing lights that are so prevalent throughout the world are designed for a community looking ahead of them, not down at a phone.”
This project will use same ground and same power as the traffic lights which means that most of the infrastructure is already in use. One wonders whether the better approach would be to just put your phone in your pockets when you wander out in the busy town. Büro North disagrees to this:
“Rather than attempting to modify behavior by legislation or punitive laws that will ultimately prove futile,” the company’s website says, “we want to make cities safer by design.”
Although Smart Tactile Paving is just a concept, it is not a new one. A German municipality just outside Munich- Augsburg, was also installed with similar tiles at crossings at the start of this year. Watch the video below for details: