smartphones

City Living, ideas from abroad, Technology

We’ve already seen the creation of texting lanes for smartphone addicts (in Antwerp, Belgium and Chongqing, China) so pedestrians don’t have to be stuck behind someone hunting for the perfect emoji. Recently the German city of Augsburg has taken the step of actually installing traffic lights in the pavement so text-walkers could be made aware of when it’s unsafe to walk–by which we mean they’re about to walk into the path of a 50-ton train. The idea came about after a 15-year-old girl was fatally hit by an oncoming tram while wearing headphones and looking down at her smartphone.

As reported in The Telegraph, the lights look like ordinary road markers, but flat to the ground. Bavarian public-works/transportation provider Stadtwerke Augsburg has installed the experimental earthbound traffic signals in two rail stations. The LED lights blink green when it’s safe to walk and red when a train is approaching. They’re visible from a distance, so they might even give pedestrians some lead time to realize an intersection is up ahead.

Find out more

City Living, Design, Products, Technology

Ikea Sittning, Placemat with Phone pocket

We’re having a hard time deciding whether this design is brilliant or just plain depressing. These new placemats come courtesy of IKEA and are part of their upcoming SITTNING collection, a limited edition series made up of 40 pieces focused in on “the joys of sharing a meal with those you love.” The new mats—which will reportedly be called “Logged Out”—will feature a convenient little pouch for you to tuck your smartphone away so you can finally enjoy a meal with your friends without checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, email…

More on IKEA’s new design here

City Living, Design, ideas from abroad, Technology

antwerp, Belgium, text walking lanes, pedestrians, cell phones

You’ve seen them. You’ve tried to get around them. You’re probably one of them.

In a world where there are more mobile phones than people, it’s become commonplace to find folks paying more attention to what’s on their phones than what’s in front of them on the street. These so-called “text-walkers” are often a nuisance to other pedestrians as well as a danger to themselves (and their precious phones). A smart solution to this problem has appeared on the sidewalks of Antwerp, Belgium in the form of  “text walking lanes.” These lanes, marked by simple white lines painted onto the sidewalk, designate a separate walking space for people who use their phones while walking.

More on text-walking lanes

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