South Korea radar and thermal camera system warns ‘smartphone zombies’ of traffic

Kim Jong-hoon, a senior researcher at Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) demonstrates an application 'Watch Out' that gives an alert to a user distracted by using smart phone while crossing a zebra crossing, in Ilsan, South Korea on March 12. The message reads: “A car is approaching from the left, watch out for the car.” REUTERS

Seoul  – A city in South Korea, which has the world’s highest smartphone penetration rate, has installed flickering lights and laser beams at a road crossing to warn “smartphone zombies” to look up and drivers to slow down, in the hope of preventing accidents.

The designers of the system were prompted by growing worry that more pedestrians glued to their phones will become casualties in a country that already has some of the highest road fatality and injury rates among developed countries.

State-run Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) believes its system of flickering lights at zebra crossings can warn both pedestrians and drivers.

In addition to red, yellow and blue LED lights on the pavement, “smombies” – smartphone zombies – will be warned by laser beam projected from power poles and an alert sent to the phones by an app that they are about to step into traffic. (Reuters)


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