The Week (US)

Innovation of the week

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A Korean designer created an attachable “third eye” for “smartphone zombies” who keep bumping into things, said Minwoo Park in Reuters.com. The satirical device was intended “as a warning,” and not “a real solution” to distracted walking (a problem serious enough that Hawaii has now imposed a fine for pedestrian­s texting in a crosswalk). The robotic lens is certainly an attention-getter. It features a “translucen­t eyelid” that opens “whenever it senses the user’s head has been lowered to look at a smartphone.” The device “uses a gyro sensor to measure the oblique angle of the user’s neck and an ultrasonic sensor to calculate the distance between the robotic eye and any obstacles.” If the walker comes within 1 or 2 meters of something in the path, the device beeps.

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